A scam artist impersonating a well-known megachurch pastor reportedly attempted to steal money from a woman on Facebook, claiming that her salvation depended on giving a gift and that the donation would go directly to charity.
That woman — Beth Gentry — said that her exchange with the scammer began after she requested to follow an account purporting to belong to Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
After the friend request was accepted, she received messages from the individual, including one plea asking her to donate to an African orphanage, KFOR-TV reported.
"He sent this really beautiful prayer and some scriptures, and I was like thank you, and then he was like I had this revelation," she said. "Can you send me several hundred dollars to an orphanage in Africa?"
And that's not all. The faux account reportedly also told her that her salvation depended on donating the money. Gentry, though, knew something wasn't right.
"I said, ‘well I think it’s a scam, and he’s like well you’re not worthy of being called a Christian, and me and my family will pray for you and we’ll be preaching about you from the pulpit on Sunday,'" she said.
The purported incident sparked an official response from LifeChurch.tv, which said that "people unfortunately continue to create fake accounts impersonating Craig and other pastors."
The church added that it has been working with Facebook to disable accounts impersonating Groeschel and clarified that pastors at LifeChurch.tv would never ask for donations in such a manner.
"Under no circumstances would Craig or any LifeChurch.tv pastor ask for donations via private Facebook messages," the statement read. "We caution people to never respond to a private Facebook solicitation that appears to come from Craig, and to instead report it to Facebook."
(H/T: Christian Post)