We received an email from a parishioner at Good Shepherd in Andover, who said her priest, on Sunday, warned the congregation about sham letters. Letters offering tickets for sale to see Pope Francis. “Our priest told us to throw away any letter we received telling us we could get tickets for the pope’s visit by sending money to the people,” wrote the parishioner, who asked not to be named. For many, a chance to see the pope is an opportunity they may never have again, and many followers are willing to pay for access to the pontiff. The problem? There are no tickets for sale. “Pope Francis is the most popular person on the planet, so it stands to reason that many, many people are drawn to him and his message and want to be in his presence,” said Richard Sokerka, spokesman for the Diocese of Paterson, which includes the Andover church. “So for many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime visit and they want to be part of it.” That’s what scammers are banking on. Earlier this month, a man who called himself Mario visited St. Joseph of the Palisades in West New York. He offered tickets to at least three parishioners — senior citizens — to see Pope Francis in Yankee Stadium, according to a published report. The cost would be $75, Mario said, but he could offer advance tickets at a discount, for $35. But Yankee Stadium isn’t on the agenda.
Read more. And beware.