Beach pastor loses $1900 in "church" scheme

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Updated Thursday, May 2 at 6:00 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - Pastor Fred Hill says the latest event in his life really made him question whether he believes in forgiveness.

But yes, he's forgiven the woman who stole $1,900 from him.

It all started Monday when he got a phone call from a man claiming to be an evangelical pastor in upper Manhattan.  The man said he was sending a family to become members of Hill's Va. Beach church.

Tuesday, Hill got a call from "Rosa Allen,"  telling him she was broken down in North Carolina on her way to Virginia Beach and was waiting for a tow truck.  She called back an hour later and had the "mechanic" tell him how bad the damage was and that he wouldn't do the work without money.

Pastor Hill tried to pay by credit card but was told the company wouldn't allow him to do that and he needed to send money via money gram.  So, he went to Navy Federal Credit Union in Chesapeake and sent the money.

An hour later, Hill received another call from the "mechanic" that the damage was worst than first though and he'd need to send more money - $1,900 in all.  

When he return to the credit union so soon, an employee asked him what was going on.  An investigation was started and they quickly learned this was a scheme.

So, Pastor Hill called "Ms. Allen's" cell phone number and the "pastor" in New York. No one answered either number.

Hill says he's learned a few lessons from this experience - don't be anxious to help people.

Meantime, Va. Beach Police say this same ruse was used on another pastor as well.

 

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