Scam artist uses T.D. Jakes to trick Emporia woman

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-10 10:40:13-04

Emporia, Va. - An Emporia woman was nearly scammed by a con artist posing as mega preacher T.D. Jakes on Facebook.

"Why would they do Bishop Jakes like that?" she told NewsChannel 3's Jessica Larche.  "Bishop Jakes need to know about this, because I realize he's not a part of this."

Woodley said last month she received a friend request from someone with a T.D. Jakes profile name with Jakes' picture.

"I felt so good because it said Bishop Jakes invited me as a friend," Woodley said.

She said the two exchanged messages about Bible verses and good deeds.

"I said I need a furnace in my house because I've been heating with kerosene heaters all winter," Woodley said, weeping from the living room in her mobile home.

She said she then got a message back from "Jakes" promising her $50,000 if she agreed to wire $80 to an account in Africa.  She went to the nearby Walmart, but she said the clerk at the customer service counter warned her about sending the money after looking at the address and recipient.

"I was really upset with her, kind of angry," Woodley said.

Moments later, while she was still in the parking lot, she said a phone call from a man with a foreign accent made it clear that this was a scam.

"He called me back and asked did I send the money," said Woodley.  "That's when I cut off all ties."

Woodley said she's now taking action to save others from scams using a man of God as a cover.

"That man is going to prey on a whole lot of older people," she said.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to T.D. Jakes ministries about the story, but there was no response before the story aired on NewsChannel 3 at 5 p.m.