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Police: Email scammer is posing as local priest

From staff reports

LEWISTOWN — A person or persons are posing as a local priest in an email scam, according to a press release issued Monday by the Mifflin County Regional Police Department.

Police said someone using the email frweary1@gmail.com and posing as a “religious leader” in Mifflin County requested that a targeted victim purchase Ebay cards and then forward the personal indentification numbers from the cards. The email claimed the religious leader was unable to get out to purchase the cards himself and was requesting assistance.

MCRPD did not specifically identify the religious leader the scammers were posing as, but the email would seem to indicate they were posing as Father William Weary, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Lewistown and St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Parish in Mifflintown. Weary is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

MCPRD urged anyone receiving a similar email to contact the person who is claimed to have sent the email and verify it is actually that person who sent it.

Police said once PINs from gift cards are given, the scammer can use the money on the cards immediately and there is often little recourse for the victim. MCRPD warned that scammers are looking to take advantage of generous people during the pandemic.

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