SCAM ALERT: Scammer poses as Ringgold church pastor asking for gift cards for cancer patients
A scam is circulating Catoosa County that investigators want you to know about.
Scammers are claiming to be a Ringgold church pastor asking for gift cards for cancer patients.
United Methodist says it's disappointing that individuals would take advantage of a church's willingness to give.
"Our response is to respond when someone is in need. For someone to take advantage of that generosity is wrong and unfortunate," said Sybil Davidson, Communications Director for North Georgia Conference of United Methodist Church.
Davidson says too many times scammers take a church's kindness for weakness.
"It's very upsetting and I think it makes the church look vulnerable," Davidson told Channel 3.
The Catoosa County Sheriff's Office posted a message to their Facebook-- telling people to be aware that people are receiving emails from scammers, claiming to be the pastor of Ringgold United Methodist.
"They were asking churchgoers to go out and get $600 dollar gift cards," said Sheriff Gary Sisk.
Sisk says it's hard to catch online scammers and they can often be people outside the country.
He says that's why you can never be too cautious when it comes to information you're giving people online.
"If something seems a little strange then definitely do your research," Sisk told Channel 3.
Davidson says United Methodist would typically not ask for personal or financial information over an email. She suggests churchgoers think before giving to an unknown source.
"Does this sound right and act on that-- give yourself a chance to think through before you respond," Davidson told Channel 3.
The church suggests that you verify a church fundraiser before giving by calling the organization to confirm they are taking donations.
The sheriff says they don't believe anyone has given money to this scammer yet.
If you are a victim of this scam-- call the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office at 706-935-2424.