Church leaders and nonprofit board members need to know how to spot a con artist. Affinity fraud is incredibly damaging to ministries. Con artists are often well polished and smooth. Often, people are surprised after the fraud or con has been committed. Fraud prevention isn’t just for large multinational corporations. Churches and other nonprofit organizations are at an increased risk due to the donations and grants they receive. Listed below are six different warning signs that a person may be a con artist.
Prevent Church Fraud – Watch Out for These 6 Signs of a Con Artist
1. Smooth Operator
Con artists are often incredibly smooth. They’re affable, friendly and so easy to get along with. They seem to blend in easily with new crowds. They will infiltrate a community in the hopes of committing church fraud. An important part of fraud prevention is detecting these people before they can infiltrate.
2. Too Good To Be True Offers
This is a serious red flag. If an offer seems too good to be true, it generally is. It could be an offer for a donation or some type of business deal that could benefit the church. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Affinity fraud preys on ministries that may be in financial trouble too. These con artists will immediately pick out a mark who looks like he or she really wants to help the church.
3. Pressing Deadlines
Con artists are often offer deals or schemes with pressing deadlines. This will put pressure on the mark. It may force him or her to make a decision on a potential deal quickly. A time-sensitive deal encourages people to decide hastily. The con artist will usually have some type of story about why the issue is so pressing.
4. Isolation and Trust Building
Con artists are skilled in human psychology. They understand what motivates people, and they are manipulators. Preventing church fraud is all about being on the lookout for suspicious people and behaviors. A con artist who is planning to pull some kind of affinity fraud scheme will likely isolate a particular person in the parish.
Con artists are always charismatic. People seem to gravitate towards them. Unfortunately, their victims will also give them money. Fraud prevention begins with recognizing suspicious behavior. The charismatic new member could be planning an elaborate affinity fraud scheme.
6. Unverifiable References
Con artists almost always come in from out of town. If they do have references, they are likely to be difficult to track down. Successful church fraud relies on people who always think the best of everybody. Unfortunately, that’s not a very good fraud prevention technique.
Fraud Prevention Requires Careful Observation and Quick Response
If you have seen any of these warning signs exemplified by a person in your church or ministry, you might be dealing with a scam artist and need to take precautions immediately. Since dealing with fraud and scam artists within the church can be a volatile situation, contact Weeds in the Garden and we’ll help you confirm, react, and recover from church fraud.