Bogus Craigslist ad targets pastors, FOX 4

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This week, FOX 4 discovered it was being falsely mentioned in a Craigslist ad dealing with a church raffle.

The ad said a Kansas City church was raffling off two trucks and that FOX 4 would announce the winners in July. However, that wasn't true. After some investigating, we found several other suspicious issues with the posting.

Shortly before our 5 p.m. newscast, the post was pulled from the site by its author.

Other than FOX 4, Pastor Eric Cobbins and his four family members, who are also pastors, in the metro were affected by the post. The name "Pastor Cobbins" was attributed to the Church of God and Christ, who was holding the raffle. The Pastor Cobbins we spoke to said neither he nor his family members were involved, instead he believes it's someone trying to capitalize on his family's reputation.

"We are part of our dad's legacy," said Cobbins. "Our dad was a pastor and he always kept a good name. It really hurts to have someone possibly ruin your name by doing such an act."

The Craigslist posting advertises a drawing for two trucks. In order to enter, a person must send $500 cash to a Kansas City, Mo., P.O. box and, in return, they'll get a ticket.

There's no contact information listed for the church holding the drawing, which is a big red flag according to Kansas City police.

"The reference we always try and use is if you get that creepy feeling and little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, its always a good indication to qusetion something twice especially when your talking something financial," said Robert Rickett, a member of KCPD's Fraud Division.

"It's not likely that many churches would do a drawing or raffle to give away a truck," said Pastor Cobbins.

Pastor Cobbins says people often have a soft spot in their heart for god, so he says if by chance this raffle is a scam, using a church could be key to drawing people in.

"I'm not surprised," he said. "Desperate times calls for desperate measures and I believe this is just someone who wanted to take an opportunity to gain from a church's name or from God's name."

FOX 4 emailed the post's author and did not receive a response.

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