Police: Scammers pose as pastors, send texts to ask for donations

Posted: Updated:
EAST NEW YORK -

Police say scammers are posing as local priests and have been sending out texts to ask for donations.

News 12 is told thousands of dollars has been stolen from parishioners at various parishes across the city, including one in East New York.

The Diocese of Brooklyn says the texts were sent to parishioners and employees. The scammer posed as local pastors and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and asked people to buy gift cards for someone in the hospital.

One of the victims, a congregant at St. Rose of Lima Church in Rockaway Beach, says she realized something was off because of the way the text was written.

Some of the parishes targeted include St. Fortunata in East New York, Incarnation in Queens Village, St. Rose of Lima in Rockaway Beach, St. Helen of Howard Beach, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in South Ozone Park and St. Clare in Rosedale.

Anyone who has received one of the texts or has information is asked to call police.

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