[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world are being warned to be vigilant after scammers pretending to be Anglican Communion primates have asked for money.
People in countries as far apart as Jamaica, the U.S. and Australia have received e-mails, text messages and even phone calls from people claiming to be Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa Albert Chama or Primate of The Episcopal Church in the Philippines Edward Malecdan.
In most cases the fraudsters have claimed they are stuck at an airport en route to meet a relative, then ask for money to pay for additional transport costs or visa charges.
Director for Communications at the Anglican Communion Office Jan Butter warned Anglicans and Episcopalians worldwide to be on their guard.
“Most people who received these requests suspected they were scams and ignored them, or contacted the provinces concerned to verify the claims, ” he said. “However these people can sound very convincing and we believe one organization handed over $1,500.”
Butter recommended that anyone who gets such an out-of-the-blue request should think very carefully before taking any action.
“Most primates have well-established contacts in many places around the world. Before you do anything, first ask yourself why they would call a stranger for financial assistance before someone they know.”