Pastor almost duped by 'wealthy' men

An 80-something pastor was almost duped into a possible financial scam Tuesday, until police say a helpful bank teller stepped in.

According to Officer Doug Morse, a spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department, two men claiming to be wealthy philanthropists approached the pastor and told him they were interested in donating to his church. But first, they said they needed to verify he had a certain amount of money in his account.

“The victim entered his bank, for what he believed to be for the purpose of showing proof of funds to the self-proclaimed donors,” Morse said via email.

The two suspects waited outside while the pastor entered his bank on the 3200 block of Arena Boulevard. It was there that an “alert” bank teller grew suspicious and contacted police, an incident summary states.

The two men were gone by the time arriving officers and bank employees tried to locate them outside. Morse said the men “most likely fled when they thought the scam was being interrupted by the alert teller and cops.”

It’s not immediately clear how the suspected scammers’ planned to collect, but Morse indicated they might have expected their mark to access an ATM rather than enter a bank with employees. It’s also possible their plan was interrupted mid-scheme, he added.

While Morse said he wasn’t able to disclose the financial institution’s name without permission, an online search reveals two banks in that block: Wells Fargo and Tri Counties Bank.

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