Scammers Allegedly Pose As Stillwater Pastor Following House Fire

Tuesday, August 20th 2019, 6:32 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

Scammers are targeting yet another Oklahoma church. 

Last month, News 9 told you about a scam making the rounds in Guthrie. Now, people in Stillwater said scammers are sending emails posing as their pastor.

Read Related Story: Guthrie Pastor Says Scammers Are Targeting His Congregation

Staff members at University Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater began receiving e-mails from scammers Monday, August 19.

One e-mail asked staff to contact the church’s pastor, John Bugg, as soon as possible while another e-mail asked for a $500 Google Play gift card for a cancer patient.

One staff member nearly made the purchase.

“The bible says that the heart of man is deceitful, so I’m not a surprised that people take advantage of tragedy in order to try to do for themselves,” said Bugg.

Pastor Bugg’s home caught fire on August 10. He said the shed caught fire, spreading to the rest of the house, burning from the top to the bottom.

Pastor Bugg said it’s possible this misfire made him a perfect target.

“It’s just highly coincidental that it happened right after the fire, it is very discouraging,” said Bugg.

Scammers created an e-mail address similar to Pastor Bugg's work email. 

Right now, it is all about communication.

“Most of the people would have contacted me and found out it wasn't me,” said Bugg. “We discovered fairly early yesterday (Monday) morning that it was going on and started getting the word out.”

Pastor Bugg said he does have insurance and plans to begin construction on a new home in a couple of weeks.