Watch out for scammer posing as priest, church warns

Have you gotten a Facebook message recently that appears to be from a Solvay priest? It could be part of a scam.

St. Marianne Cope Parish, the Catholic Community of Lakeland and Solvay, posting a warning Tuesday on the Solvay church’s Facebook page.

A person posed as the Rev. Joseph Clemente, pastor of the church, on Facebook messenger and asked a parishioner for money, said the church.

“Are you still willing to help the church?” the scammer wrote in a message sent Nov. 24 to the parishioner. “If so, I will be glad to tell you that you can help us better by making the deposit to the church bank account.”

No one from the parish would ask for money — especially over email, text or social media, the church said.

“Please be safe and vigilant when engaging on social media. As you can see from the shots, if you don’t know what to look for, it would seem believable that it is actually Father,” the church said. “Please never send money via email, text or social media platforms. Report the account and make sure we know about it as soon as possible.”

First published 06.12.19:

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