Monday, October 23, 2017 Elyria 69°


Email scam claims Elyria reverend is robbed, stranded in Philippines


ELYRIA — The Rev. Gerald Evans said he got a call Wednesday from his brother in Rochester, N.Y., wondering what Evans was doing in the Philippines.

The call was in reaction to a scam email purporting to come from Evans, head of the First Community Interfaith Institute of Ohio, Elyria chapter. The email said Evans had been robbed in Manila and needed $2,500 sent to him.

Evans said he and his brother laughed about the phony email, but he worries that it will damage the credibility of the institute, a nonprofit group. The institute’s work includes helping homeless people as well as providing job training.

It also holds anger management courses for people sent to it by the courts. Evans said the institute, founded in 1978, sends about 23,000 emails annually as part of its work.

Evans said the scam comes about two months after the group’s phone service was disrupted. He said a phone disruption also occurred in 2012.

Evans said he received about 40 calls Wednesday from people inquiring about the email.

“It’s just sad,” Evans said. “We’re trying to do good in the community and we get all this negative stuff.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

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