Pastor Wayne Cordeiro is a well-respected and well-known religious figure in Hawaii with many followers; his official Facebook page has almost 6,000 likes. However, being a widely followed public figure has its drawbacks, one of which is being impersonated on the Internet. Cordeiro has found himself to be the subject of several fake Facebook profiles attempting to dupe people into donating money.
The Web Content Manager for Cordeiro’s church, Maricar Amuro, began receiving friend invites from people purporting to be Cordeiro. However, she was already friends with him, and began investigating the invites. She turned up nine fake Cordeiro profiles. She posted on his official page to warn his followers of the imposters, but they had already done some damage. The mother of one of Cordeiro’s followers, Ryan Riveira, was conned into paying $1,000 to one of the fake profiles.
“It was claiming that Pastor Wayne was in Africa. It was a church that was about to crumble with x amount of members and children if they didn’t come up with x amount of dollars,” said Riveira.
Fake profiles can take a while to get removed from the website, and there is virtually no recourse for punishing the hoaxers involved. However, there are several easy steps to avoid being duped by fake charities. First, look at the Facebook page or the link itself. If it looks suspicious (poor spelling and grammar, a URL that looks iffy), simply don’t click on it. Anytime you’re prompted to fill out your personal information, don’t do it, and don’t fall for the urgent sob stories that many of these fake charities provide to play on your emotions. It’s almost impossible to get your money back from these scams, but thankfully it’s very easy to avoid being conned in the first place.
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