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Thread: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

  1. #26

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    No Sponsoring! No Recruiting!
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    You have to have a PayPal and/or STP account.
    Looks like they have upped the ante a bit, now they want you to 'donate' $20 to their cause/scam.

    And on it goes...

    The Total Take Over Movement

    Carla Carey
    13 hours ago
    THANKS Saquoye Farr for telling me about the Total Take over.. I am so excited about what I have learned so far ! I really appreciate it !
    Like · · Share
    Carla Carey and Saquoye Farr like this.

    Saquoye Farr Absolutely Carla! Glad you're loving it. I knew you would!
    13 hours ago · Like · 1

    Carla Carey You sure were right about that.. now I can put things into practice that I know and am learning now..this is so awesome !
    13 hours ago · Like · 1

    Saquoye Farr Yes ma'am! That's it! Learn & Implement!
    13 hours ago · Like · 1

    Mark Gibson I enrolled one more last night in FM and have another one for sure coming as soon as he gets his PP account funded.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Isn't it about time you stopped scamming your friends? You have so much to offer the world, God has given you wealth unlimited with a voice and kind heart, why do you keep trying to get what you already have but do not use wisely? I have told you many times what you are doing is not right, you are taking from others by joining these schemes and enticing your friends to send in their money.
    Don't get ripped off!! Stay informed!

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Internet Cafe Nigeria

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    Quote Originally Posted by scratchycat View Post
    [COLOR="#006400" Except there is a catch, these people profess Christianity through song and images and present themselves as worthy religious people and many times have themselves convinced.
    I have pause when people profess anything and then ask for something. "I am a good person", "You can trust me", "I will pay you back". When someone says they are a nice person, and then says something really mean. (Not that I don't say some mean things more often than I should, but seldom do I put my hand out.) There is certainly an instant connection and implied decency that comes along with religion. Why do people bring it up, to win us over, or to make conversation?

    A long history of people in the community very active in their churches being the head of massive schemes. Jim Baker and Robert Tilton did it from TV, and John Bennett Foundation for New Era Philanthropy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia was a notorious scam that targeted ministries and charities alike. Who knows how many scams like Trend Sound Promoter or Yougetpaidfast are run by b-level scammers using religion to do it.

    The long and short seems that some people want your money and will do whatever is easiest to win trust and get it from your pocket to theirs. Other than not being daft about the returns that are possible, people who just scratch the surface should be able to throw up enough red flags in almost any scam. John Bennett Jr. claimed to have "secret donors" that would double donations. Had people demanded the money be held in trust, or in a bank account where they could watch it like a mother hen, no scam would have occurred. A big part of the con is the just giving the scammer control of your money, control of the statements, and the only means of verifying the balance.
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Internet Cafe Nigeria

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    Some great information from: Crimes of Persuasion: Nigerian email scams, pyramid schemes, consumer frauds.

    Affinity Fraud - Church Group Religion Focused Investment Scams

    Everyone, in some way or another, is connected to a group, association or community-based organization. Our interests, backgrounds, and other factors will naturally lead us to those affiliations that best serve our needs. Race, culture, and religious beliefs also play a role in identifying us as members of unique groups that we often come to trust —sometimes to our detriment.

    Affinity fraud is when one person gains the trust of others because they share the same religion, race, ethnicity, career or other social characteristic and then deceives them in some kind of financial transaction.

    The deception may be intentional, as in the case of an investment scam infiltrator, but could just as easily be the result of an enthusiastic, but misguided, participant in a local gifting club or international pyramid scheme.

    In a world of increasing complexity, many people feel the need for a shorthand way of knowing who to trust. This is especially true when it comes to investing money. Unfamiliar with how our financial markets work, too many people don't know how to thoroughly research an investment and its salesperson.

    Affinity fraud poses a danger since it undercuts the usual warnings about investment schemes promoted by strangers. In these cases, the fraud may come to a your attention as the result of a contact from a friend, colleague or someone who inspires a bond of trust.

    "You can trust me," says the scammer, "because I'm like you. We share the same background and interests. And I can help you make money." The normal process of cautious skepticism is replaced by social banter.

    Start At The Top

    Another equally effective technique, if the con artist is not a member of the group, is to lull members into a misplaced trust by selling first to a few prominent members, then pitching the scam to the rest by using the names of those previously sold.

    The effect is the same. Once the connection to the group is understood, the natural skepticism of the individual member is overcome, and one more group name is added to the sales presentation.

    With the hierarchy of leaders and followers already established, the investment becomes merely an extension of our desire to belong and be accepted.

    Beware of the use of names or testimonials from other group members. Because scam artists frequently pay out high returns to early investors using money from later arrivals the early investors may be wildly enthusiastic about a scheme that may be set to collapse entirely once you've invested.

    Once an affinity fraud victim realizes that he or she has been scammed, too often the response is not to notify the authorities but instead to try to solve problems within the group. This usually just ensures that the fraud continues without anyone reporting it to the authorities until it is too late to recover funds.

    Con artists recognize that the tight-knit structure of many groups makes it less likely that a scam will be detected by regulators and law enforcement officials, and that victims will be more forgiving of one of their own members.

    Minority Groups

    With immigration at levels not seen since early this century, many new arrivals to our country are seen by financial swindlers as ripe for the picking.

    Immigrant groups are particularly vulnerable to this type of fraud because they are sometimes isolated from the larger community and their flow of information may be limited because of language and other barriers.

    Some members of long-established minority groups have accumulated savings and achieved a certain standard of living through years of hard work. Often, they want to "give back to the community" in order to help others like themselves.

    However, such inclinations often make these group members sitting ducks for deceitful con artists who, despite sharing the same ethnicity or culture, are really motivated solely by greed. Swindlers who prey on minority groups will play the loyalty angle for all it's worth.
    Religious Affiliation Scams

    Religious affinity fraud also continues to be a widespread problem. And swindlers who prey upon people of their own religion come in all denominations. Some elderly investors were duped into buying bogus promissory notes by three men, two insurance agents and an investment adviser, who often got on their knees and prayed with their victims to gain their trust.

    "I've known him all my life." "I trusted her as if she were a member of my family." "He was such a nice young man." "We had the same values and beliefs."

    The last of these statements was made by a complainant who had lost $100,000 by investing with a member of her church group who was going to produce a film supporting the political positions and beliefs of the group. The film was not made and the scammer disappeared.

    The Internet missionary church Greater Ministries International Church GMI took in over $550 million dollars from over 27,000 believers and although it promised great returns from heaven over one half of the money has not been accounted for.

    Many of the investors were fundamentalist Christians, including Mennonites in rural Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia. They were told their money would double in installment payments made over 17 months or less. Investors were quoted Luke 6:38: "Give, and it shall be given unto you."

    With such high yield returns, promoters will suggest that much of the bounty can be used by the investor to benefit the church or organization. Prime bank schemes will often attach a charitable aspect to them so as to offset any guilt resulting from suppressed greed.

    Greater Ministries officials told investors that state and federal securities laws did not apply to them because the investments were "gifts" to the Church and the payments from the church to investors, called "blessings," were not subject to taxes.

    You should ignore claims that religiously-based investments are unregulated because virtually all investment opportunities, including church bonds, come under the scope of federal and state securities or commodities laws.

    Scams using religion as a lure to get people to invest money have taken in about $1.8 billion over the last three years, according to the Washington-based North American Securities Administrators Association.

    The Lesson Learned

    A former Sunday school teacher swindled at least thirty-three people, many of them church members, and like him, immigrants from India, out of more than $1 million. He got money from investors to supposedly buy nationally known stocks but then just stashed the cash in his personal bank and brokerage accounts.

    Razor Sharp Learning Curve

    In California, commodity dealers targeted various Asian communities in the Los Angeles area. One company advertised in the "China Daily News" for executive positions at a new bank in Shanghai, China. Victims were told the company was looking for people without any experience in the banking business, so they could be trained from scratch.

    All fifteen people attending the subsequent seminar were originally from China. After three days of training, the marketing manager said that every person expecting to get a job from the "bank" in Shanghai had to put in practice what they had learned about foreign currency exchange transactions by putting up money as a test to see if they were qualified.

    The investments were touted as "no-risk" moneymaking opportunities and ranged from $15,000 to $300,000. The investors lost over 90% of their money in these foreign currency and precious metals investments —supposedly being made on their behalf on the Hong Kong exchange.

    He Needs New Glasses

    One promoter targeted Christians by claiming he had built a device to find oil based on "visions" he had received from God. About 150 investors are believed to have lost more than $1 million in the oil and gas investment scheme.


    A former financial consultant who was charismatic and had "Christian values", was sentenced to 30 years for bilking thirty retirement-age investors out of nearly $6 million. At the sentencing hearing, he was greeted with jeers and boos as he tried to apologize to his victims.

    In Pennsylvania, several small Catholic churches were defrauded of about $1 million by an investment adviser-parishioner who had won the trust of parish priests. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of potential victims. Securities regulators point out that since many people feel like they've lost out on the historic bull market on Wall Street, they need to catch up.

    A Fraud By Any Name

    One affinity fraud which targeted members of Christian churches in rural Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri towns raised $7.4 million in funds from at least 125 investors, supposedly to trade in high-yield foreign bank instruments in a secret "prime bank" trading market. The promoters said investors would receive a monthly return of 20% for 12 to 18 months, and that the return of principal was fully guaranteed.

    To establish credibility within the church-minded communities, they gave the investments various names with Biblical connotations, such as Jubilee Trust Fund, Oracle Trust Fund and Elkosh Trust Fund. They also proclaimed their status as "born-again Christians" and suggested that the investment would fulfill a religious "duty" or "prophecy." They even informally enlisted members of various church communities to praise and promote the investment funds.

    Consequently, the churchgoers, most of whom were unsophisticated investors, invested in the trading programs based on trust and faith, rather than adequate information. The prime bank trading program did not actually exist and all funds have been transferred to several offshore entities. By making principal and interest payments to early investors, with funds raised from later investors, they gave the false illusion that the investment was successful.

    When confronted by authorities they attempted to persuade investors not to cooperate by referring to previously signed confidentiality agreements and by falsely telling them that cooperation with the government would forfeit any return on their investment.

    continue QuickTour

    A Bad Choice of Investment

    Through the use of church membership lists, a man in Utah preyed upon fellow members of the Assembly of God Church . Through his company, Making Good Choices Inc., he sold bogus "royalty interest" in such inventions as a "Mess Free Bird Feeder" and the "Vice Script" automobile theft-prevention engraving system.

    Victims were promised returns of "25% to 100% for years to come." In most cases, no products were ever sold and losses by church members were approximately $200,000. He, in turn, was sentenced to 15 years in the Utah State Prison.

    Blame God!

    Not knowing what to do with the money, after receiving $300,000 from a life insurance policy on her husband, a 31-year-old mother of three in Scottsdale, Arizona, invested it with a Lay Minister in the Eagle's Nest Christian Embassy, where she was a member.

    A pamphlet written by the church pastor described the scammer's "Vision Plan" for funding a new $2 million church building:

    "For the past year I have prayerfully sought the Lord for the plan and direction he would have us take in regards to the financing costs of the construction and improvements of the new building.… The plan and direction God has given us is strategic, sound and safe!..."

    Today, she and her family, as well as many other former Eagle's Nest parishioners, are still devastated after he pled guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme which took in $11.4 million.

    Plastic Profits

    A Baptist minister from Texas is accused by the SEC of robbing $3.5 million from more than 150 investors in a religious affinity fraud scam in which he exclusively targeted African-American Baptists and promised them returns of between 7 and 30 percent.

    Ronald Randolph is accused of selling investment contracts for his fake plastics company, International Polymers Works which he claimed was profitable and had several contracts with major companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., DuPont and Dow Chemical. He also said the investments were insured by Lloyds of London.

    There were in fact no contracts and no guarantees. To keep the ponzi scheme alive from 1997 through 2000 he used the money of new investors to pay back prior investors.

    Warfare Has No Place In The Church

    09/02 Marcus D. Dukes, 33, and Teresa Hodge, 39, owners of Financial Warfare Club Inc. are accused of convincing black parishioners in 18 states to buy stock in nonpublic companies and to pay for investor education courses.

    The SEC said the pair used the money for other purposes and that none of the 1000 investors have made a return on their investments, which exceeded $1 million..

    Going to churches from Maryland to Alabama they held presentations full of prayers and quotes from the Bible, selling their ideas by claiming blacks had been left out of the lucrative market for initial public offerings of stocks.

    They then offered parishioners unregistered securities, claiming they were investments that would help black-owned companies soon to go public through different entities, including Financial Warfare Inc., the Financial Warfare Club and Covenant EcoNet Inc.

    The pair offered three types of membership: "Founders" paid $2,500 and $50 a year for 2,000 shares of stock in one of three companies that were purportedly poised to launch IPOs; "warriors" paid $1,000 and $50 a year for 500 shares of stock in the three companies; "believers" paid $500 with an annual fee of $50.

    Financial Warfare Club's toll-free phone number greeted callers with: "We're excited that you are joining the war against financial apartheid and plan to ensure that we have the same economic and financial freedoms as every other American."

    The money collected was spent instead on other things, including $300,000 on salaries for Dukes and Hodge, $600,000 in transfers between the defendants, $42,000 in payments to hotels and more than $92,000 in cash withdrawals.

    Dukes, who was a stockbroker in the early 1990s, had been censured and fined $25,000 by the National Association of Securities Dealers, while Hodge had petitioned for bankruptcy relief four times between 1996 and 1999.

    In Alabama, nine people have been charged with cheating church members at the Daystar Assembly of God church out of more than $3 million by telling them the money would be used to buy retirement properties in Florida, the income of which would be used to pay off the mortgage of the Prattville church and build a religious theme park.

    The money went instead to pay off investors in a previous scam and to purchase equipment for unrelated businesses.

    Such appeals to race, religion or another commonality in selling fraudulent investments are referred to as affinity fraud. Such solicitations often try to equate faith in God with faith in the financial scheme.

    A handful of stories. Affinity Fraud - Church Group Religion Focused Investment Scams
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff

  4. #29

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    Wow!! You about covered it all!! I hope people will read and be aware of these kind of schemes.

    In Alabama, nine people have been charged with cheating church members at the Daystar Assembly of God church out of more than $3 million by telling them the money would be used to buy retirement properties in Florida, the income of which would be used to pay off the mortgage of the Prattville church and build a religious theme park. The money went instead to pay off investors in a previous scam and to purchase equipment for unrelated businesses.
    Wonder if my EX got involved in that, I do know they left a church they had been attending for a long time and found another one. hmmm.... No, no way, they are Baptist. At least for that one.

    All I have to do to keep updated on the latest is check with my 'friend's' FB page. She may catch on eventually and drop me but so be it. It is not that I have been dishonest with her because I have been in touch on several of her schemes. Saw the other day where she had signed up another close friend, one who should know better by now. Oh well, I do my best...
    Don't get ripped off!! Stay informed!

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Internet Cafe Nigeria

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    Quote Originally Posted by scratchycat View Post

    Oh well, I do my best...
    That is all we can do, thing is I think a lot of people say "not me" when they read this stuff. A few of us tried to warn a lady dating a fake soldier on Facebook, unfriend city. One of the things tossed around from time to time in financial fraud is it happens to those with above average intelligence. Dunno.

    This hit the other day on NewsHog on my Kindle, google news missed it so I had to play to find it. Interesting article since you mentioned Alabama.

    GADSDEN, Alabama -- Forget American hustlers or Wall Street wolves - if you want to take Alabamians' money illegally, the most common way is through churches.

    That's what Joe Borg, the head of the Alabama Securities Commission for two decades, said today in a talk at the Gadsden Rotary Club. Religion is the most successful vehicle for fraud in the state - through what is known as affinity frauds - with Ponzi schemes and get-rich-quick investments preying on those who pray.

    "Think about it, you've got a lot of people who are all part of the same community," Borg said. "God's supposed to be watching over your funds. And they think, 'Why would they take advantage of you?'"

    Borg has seen and helped prosecute all kinds of phony investment scams and frauds during his time, so he has a lot of stories to tell. And here are some of the more common stories:
    joe borg.JPGView full sizeJoe Borg has headed the Alabama Securities Commission for the last 20 years.

    1. A church member is asked to invest some money, say $1,000, with a guaranteed return of perhaps $100 per month. After two months, the member has $200, but the scammer has $800 from the original investment. And now, he has a member who is out telling others about the money he's made.

    "You get another person to invest, now he's got $1,800, and then another, and another," Borg said.

    The fraud eventually collapses under its own weight. To recover any money, the scheme has to be stopped early.

    2. Getting the minister involved gives the fraud legitimacy in the eyes of the congregation, Borg said. Because of this, a member who might otherwise have legitimate misgivings may be accused of "lacking faith."

    One church in Prattville, he said, eventually had its building foreclosed because it had been used as collateral on a phony investment scheme.

    3. Cases involving churches are hard to prosecute, Borg said. "You ask for a witness and it's like you're attacking their faith," he said. "The really good schemes make faith in God equivalent to faith in the program."

    Churches also allow scammers to get closer to a big target market - the elderly. There is approximately $13 trillion in stocks, securities and other financial products held by Americans over 60. And with no money coming in, uncertainty about Social Security or anxiety over potentially-catastrophic medical costs, fear can drive them to seek safe, easy investments.

    Some of Borg's most memorable frauds - not involving churches - include investments in a gold mine in Clanton, a proposed hotel sponsored by the World Wrestling Federation, and a man in Robertsdale who marketed a machine that would transform sand into gold dust.

    Borg said investors in the town gave money to build a bigger machine, when beaches full of sand were only a 30-minute trip away.

    "They could have driven down there and made as much gold dust as they needed to build a bigger machine, if it worked," he said.

    Anyone looking for information about investment frauds or wishing to report suspicious activity can find information at the commission website.

    What's the most common fraud in Alabama? Pray you don't find out |
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Is Eireannach mise

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    Quote Originally Posted by scratchycat View Post
    On a related note

    The Gods Must Be Crazy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    At the time, it broke all box office records in Japan and it broke all box office records for a foreign film in the United States.Despite the film's having grossed over $100 million worldwide, Nǃxau reportedly earned less than $2,000 for his starring role.

    Not to forget "Fundaligionism"
    The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in The Idiots Abroad | Now Read This!

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Is Eireannach mise

    Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    THE Psychology of serial scammers
    Here is something that upsets me.

    Regularly con artists and scammers HYIP promoters etc., many of whom are really bad at what they do, are exposed.
    They either move on to another scam or disappear for a while and then reemerge, usually pushing almost the same scam!
    Here is an example of a religion scammer
    Peter Popoff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This guy was exposed on national TV ~ The Ed Sullivan Show no less in 1986
    According to James Randi in 1987, he took in almost $4 million per year.[37]

    [Numbers in square brackets are references from the above Wikipedia reference.]

    By 1987 he was bankrupt!

    He reemerged in 1998.

    In 2003, Popoff's ministry received over $9.6 million and by 2005 the amount had risen to over $23 million. In that year he and his wife were paid a combined total of nearly $1 million, while two of his children were receiving over $180,000 each.[38] Financial data is not available for Popoff's ministry following 2005 because Peter Popoff Ministries changed from a for-profit business to a religious organization in 2006, making it tax-exempt.[36] Popoff purchased a home in Bradbury, California, for $4.5 million in 2007.[39][40] He reportedly drives a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz.[41]

    Popoff was designated by the James Randi Educational Foundation, (JREF) to be one of the recipients of the 2011 Pigasus Award, which exposes fraud, along with Mehmet Oz (from The Dr. Oz Show) and CVS Pharmacy.[30] “Debt cancellation is part of God’s plan,” according to Popoff. Popoff teaches that God will respond to prayer and seed-faith by providing financial blessing. wrote a blog post concerning Popoff's claims.[31]

    Currently, Popoff's "People United For Christ" has a "Did Not Disclose" rating with the Better Business Bureau.[34]

    According to Ole Anthony of the Trinity Foundation, which has investigated Popoff and other televangelists since 1987, "Most of these guys are fooled by their own theology [...] He’s fundamentally evil. Because he knows he’s a con man."[36]

  8. Re: People Using "Religion" to Scam Others

    Attention everyone who was ripped off by Trend Sound Promoter!!! I was ripped OFF for about $20,000
    Each of us needs to report this white collar crime to the following Government Agencies! Agencies will open crime investigation, and we will get a chance to recover our money and put these crooks behind bars!

    2) https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.go...#crnt&panel1-1

    3) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Home



    6) Investment Online Complaint Form

    7) - Your site for cross-border complaints.


    Here is addition information that needs to be included in your crime report : Corporations: Registration Detail
    Please attach some of your unpaid invoices and receipt (that you transfer money to these crooks). Let's do it as soon as possible! Otherwise, they can flee the country, and take OUR money with them! Please keep postings who already filed crime reports! I am going to do it ASAP. Also some people can meet in their cities, and do it as a group. Make sure, file a crime report in EACH AGENCY and let them know that you are a VICTIM!!!

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