Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/customer/www/fahamuusaimmigration.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/affiliate-ads-builder-for-clickbank-products/vertical_horizontal_carousel.inc.php on line 70
A California Catholic diocese is warning churchgoers that “bold and brazen” scammers impersonating Mexican clergy are charging exorbitant fees to perform baptisms and first communions.
The Diocese of Stockton on Tuesday said scammers are targeting Spanish-speaking parishioners — many of whom are immigrant farmworkers — in the agricultural hub of Modesto, California. The notice was released in English and Spanish.
“The scammers are setting up blessings,” said Erin Haight, spokeswoman for the diocese. “They’re doing house blessings, baptisms, confirmations, first communions. They’re doing events in parks. Isn’t that bold and brazen?”
Haight said the diocese, which covers six counties and includes 35 parishes, received calls from concerned parishioners about priests allegedly charging fees ranging from $1,800 to $2,000 to perform sacraments.
Crypto scammers conned a man out of $25KHere’s how you can avoid investment scams.
The scammers are impersonating real clergy, including José Adán González Estrada and Bishop Raúl Gómez González of the Archdiocese of Toluca in Mexico.
A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Toluca said Gómez González wasn’t immediately available for comment. The Diocese of Stockton said in a statement it had “verified the veracity of this deception in collaboration” with the Archdiocese of Toluca.
“They are preying on our Spanish-speaking community,” Haight said. “We have migrant farmworkers. These are people who might not call law enforcement out of fear because of their immigration status.”
Haight said the diocese has received assurances from law enforcement that police won’t ask victims about their immigration status. She said the diocese is encouraging people to call police if they’ve been victimized by the scammers.
“We do not check immigration status when a victim reports a crime,” said Sharon Bear, public safety information officer for the Modesto Police Department.
Bear said the police department hasn’t received reports about the clergy impersonation scam, but added, “Our hope is that their warning prevented their members from falling for such a scam.”
The Diocese said in a statement that it “strongly advises the public not to be deceived by these ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing.’”