FTC Issues Scam Alert for Churches

Linked HandsOn June 19, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission, (FTC) issued an alert to warn churches about a  Bogus Opportunity Scam.  According to the FTC, con artists are hawking what they claim is a golden opportunity for churches: Free equipment or services. Often targeting African American churches, these scammers may profess a shared faith, culture, or concern for the community to gain the trust of the church staff.

In a common scheme, scammers may offer computer equipment to the staff of a church, claiming the cost will be covered by a “sponsor,” who later turns out to be phony. In the meantime, the staff simply has to sign an agreement to lease the equipment, make a regular payment, and deposit checks from the “sponsor” to cover the checks written by the church. While this is going on, the scammers can gain access to the church’s bank accounts and withdraw funds.

The  following link provides more on how to steer clear of this scam  http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt138.shtm.

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