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.