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Archdiocese Alerts Faithful, Consumers About Fake Check Scam

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, is alerting area Catholics and others of a fake check scam bearing the name of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The Archdiocese has received notice from the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, as well as consumers around the country, informing it of the deception.

The scam involves fraudulent sweepstakes notices informing recipients they’ve won a cash prize resulting from various drawings and attached to the notice is a check, which is billed as an advance on the recipient’s “winnings.” The letter requests that money be wire transferred to pay for taxes and fees.

While the BBB states that a number of variations on the scam are being employed, one involves the Archdiocese of Baltimore on the check attached to the fake sweepstakes notice.

“We are attempting to alert unsuspecting recipients of these letters not to act on them,” Archbishop O’Brien said. “Sadly, many of the people we’ve heard from have initially believed in the validity of the offer because the name of the Church is included. We are assuring people we are not involved and urging them to contact consumer protection agencies for further direction.”

Contact the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland at (410) 347-3990.