WEST ALLIS — West Allis police are warning of scams in which church congregations received texts from someone claiming to be their pastor.
The department said the suspect asked in text messages for gift cards to help someone undergoing cancer treatment, and that they would be reimbursed later. The suspect also told them to keep the request "discrete" and to not call them "as they are in prayer meetings/sessions," according to a statement from West Allis police. Police say they received several reports of the scam.
Luckily the department is not aware of any victims to the scam. Police say the scammer would likely ask for photos proving someone had purchased them the gift cards. But that in turn allows the scammer to make fraudulent purchases.
"As a reminder, be very cautious of sudden, unsolicited requests for money or gift cards. Scammers try to play on the emotions and hope to persuade a victim to provide them with money, gift card numbers/pins, or personal identifying information/financial information by scaring them," police said.
The department adds if you do get such a request to end the conversation right away.