Scammers are posing as priests and targeting parishioners

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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - A place of prayer has become a target for scammers who are trying to cheat people out of their hard earned money.

Authorities say crooks are getting their hands on community bulletins from churches around town and calling staff who post their phone numbers.

A local church decided to put their names and information on the bulletin for openness and accessibility with parishioners; however, some unsolicited calls started to surface asking people for money and gift cards.

Narcisco Castro wanted to be there for his fellow neighbors; unfortunately, it only made him a target for scammers.
Over the last few weeks, scammers have gone to different churches and checked on the bulletins for phone numbers for the chance to scam parishioners out of their money.

Last Thursday, Castro got a text message from an unknown number.
Castro says, the alleged scammer sent him a message telling him to go to a store and buy five $100 gift cards and send him the serial number in the back.
The scammer also went on to say that he was about to visit a sick person in the hospital.

Castro says when they called, they used a priest’s name.
Laredo Police say the community needs to be wary when people call asking for donations.

Officer Emmanuel Diaz says, police urge the public that if it sounds too good to be true or out of the ordinary, it might be a scam.

Being at the right place at the right time is what kept Castro safe from the scammer’s plan.

Castro says he sent a text saying that he was standing right next to the priest, which is when the scammer ended the conversation.

Police say it is more common that scammers will target the elderly community.