This particular con uses Christian symbology to try and convinces people to buy in and if they act fast, within a day specifically, the scam claims heaven's blessings will be theirs.
Brenda Van-Vorhees believes in blessing from God. She can't believe it when they are promised if she will only send some money to an address in Oklahoma.
"I think someone's using it to rip off Christians."
The mail she found in her mailbox claims it is from Saint Matthew's Churches in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Those who respond in a day with a cash donation are blessed with thousands of dollars or new homes, or so the claim goes.
To make it all work, recipients have to use the enclosed prayer rug. "This is what they sent - it's got a picture of Jesus." The rug is really just a piece of paper that boasts it is anointed with God's Holy Blessing power: the apparent key to heavenly benefits.
Only one of a few red flags to Van-Vorhess. "Christians don't use prayer rugs but there is a picture of Jesus on the front." Another is that the mail came from Iowa, and asks for money to go to Oklahoma.
Her fear is that others are getting it and responding out of desperation and may cave if they see some familiar symbols. "I think people should really be ashamed of themselves for using religious symbols to try and rip people off."
A website called the Rip-off Report has published a history of this kind of scam and reports the St. Matthew's Churches in Tulsa do not exist.
Another person who got a similar mail-out is contacting a local postal inspector on the matter. Brenda Van-Vorhees intends to do the same.
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