Scammers on Facebook are pretending to be famous spiritual
leaders in an effort to steal money from people in the Tri-State and throughout
the country. Among them is a crook pretending to be Joel Osteen.
In a long Facebook message, the scammer pretends to be
Osteen asking for money for an orphanage. But you don't have to read all of it
to realize that it's written by a person who didn't grow-up speaking English.
The scam was reported
by the Better Business Bureau. Not only should you check their site before
making a donation to a charity you haven't heard of before, but also check CharityNavigator.org. That
organization does a great job of telling you how much of your donation will
likely be spent on executive salaries and marketing. Generally, you want to
pick a charity with administrative and marketing costs that eat-up only 10% or
less of the money people donate.
Another scam out there right now may be hitting your in-box.
You might get an e-mail from someone claiming that you have a lot of money
coming to you from the U.S. Treasury Department. The red flag here is that one
of the options for collecting your money is sending them nearly $500. Of
course, the e-mail isn't really from the Treasury Department and you should
never have to pay money to collect a refund from the government.
You can report e-mail scams like this to government
investigators by filing a complaint at IC3.gov.