Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … Have you heard about this scam? According to police in Troy, Michigan, a church received a $4,500 donation for hurricane victims. Later that day, police say the donor contacted the church saying he made a mistake and meant to donate $45. The church refunded the check for $4,500. Days later, the church found out the donation check was fake.

This guy attempted to do the same thing to us yesterday. I spoke with the man and I explained that I’ll be taking it up with the police. He seemed nervous, but frankly from what Google tells me, this guy is prolific.

Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

DRF—That’s a newer one to me. Mike Batts and Danny Johnson talk about that scam in an article on

Over the years I have heard of lots of scams. There was the man who wanted to donate an oil well to a church but needed several thousand dollars to “transfer the title.” Millions of dollars were promised if the church could pay the transfer fee.

Many con artists use large dollar numbers to entice their marks. I recently heard of a church that wired money to the “senior pastor” who was stranded in a remote location. They never saw that money again.

Good internal financial controls are necessary. Here are a few basics:

    • Have two decision-makers for any refund or wire transfer.
    • Wait for all donations to clear before issuing a refund.
    • Put in the print steps for staff to follow for regular and unusual circumstances.

A church’s finance team should review your church’s internal controls. Get plenty of advice and input on how you handle your money. We have lots of material on XPastor concerning Finance Policy.

Thanks for the info on this latest scam. May this post help churches avoid it!