McMinn County Sheriff's Office warns church-goers of scammers - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

McMinn County Sheriff's Office warns church-goers of scammers

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -  The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is issuing a warning to church-goers to be aware of scammers.

Sheriff Joe Guy tells Channel 3 they've seen a rise in the scams recently where they are using people's goodwill to get cash.

"You want to help people who need help, but when you find out folks are clearly lying and taking money from churches who could be helping somebody who really needed it, it's troubling," said McMinn County Sheriff, Joe Guy.

Sheriff Guy says churches need to be on the lookout for people claiming they need help, but only willing to accept cash.

"These folks are truly there to defraud churches of money and they don't just go to one they hit several with the same story,” said Sheriff Guy.

East Athens Baptist Church Pastor Jon Hathcock says they have people come by the church on occasion asking for help, but many times direct them to other places.

"Every month we send money and resources to different church organizations in the community," said Pastor Hathcock.

He says it's a way to get resources to those who need the help, while weeding out those who don't.

"Love others and treat them as I treated you, so while that's a healthy thing, we want to be protective as well," said Hathcock.

Even though it isn't the ideal situation, Hathcock says it shows the church as a whole is doing something right.

"Thank God this person who is trying to use and abuse this situation they know where to go. They know perhaps in the back of their mind when in doubt when there's problems, they know they can turn to the church and the church is there to meet them where they are," said Hathcock.

The McMinn County Sheriff's Department is offering a document to local churches to keep record of the people they are helping, so in the event more people are trying to scam church-goers that paper trail will help them with the investigation.    
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