ATLANTA — Attorney General Chris Carr is warning Georgians of an impostor scam targeting faith-based communities in which fraudsters pose as religious leaders to try to trick congregants into sending them money.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr

Credit: Capitol Beat News Service

There are different variations to these impostor scams. In one version, scammers set up Gmail accounts that display the actual name of a rabbi, priest, pastor, or imam. The fraudster then emails the members of the congregation asking for emergency donations to help someone in need.

In another version, scammers pose as real religious leaders and send texts or emails to congregants requesting they send money via gift cards.

“With advancements in technology, it’s easier than ever for criminals to hide their true identity, which is why we continue to hear about impostor scams,” Carr said Monday. “Consumers should be very suspicious of any emails or texts asking them to send money even if they appear to come from a trusted source.”

While it may be difficult to get money back once it’s in the hands of a scammer, victims can take steps to boost their chances of recovering lost funds. Carr’s office urges victims to report the fraud as soon as they become aware of a scam. Immediately contact the appropriate financial provider, money transfer company, or gift card provider.

Also, file a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency, the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at (404) 651-8600 or, and the Federal Trade Commission at

Those who find scam transactions are hurting their credit should visit to request free credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies — ExperianEquifax, and TransUnion. Freezing credit is also a good way to stop unauthorized accounts from being opened.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Capitol Beat News Service