A police team in Leiceister, England has formed to address what appears to be large-scale fraud connected to faith healing.
Police hope to lift the lid on the murky world of ‘faith healers’ who promise cures for everything from cancer to marriage breakdown – for huge sums of money.
A team of officers has been put together to investigate the scale of the fraud in the city for the first time.
An unknown number of tricksters are operating in the city, advertising in foreign language newspapers or by putting business cards through letterboxes or leaving the on car windscreens.
Many claim to be able to use prayer to lift curses, heal broken marriages and solve financial problems.
Others say they can cure illnesses including cancer and HIV.
Desperate people may feel they must try anything to solve family rifts or bring back good fortune or health. They will fall for false promises from unscrupulous people.
The city council has been hearing about advertisements for faith healers and the cases of people being bilked for several thousands of pounds. It’s an organized system. The fraudsters are exploiting people’s faith in order to acquire what could amount to their life savings. Because of the embarrassment of falling for scams, it’s likely a large number of incidents go unreported.
This is an interesting case where the community has decided they need to tackle the problem locally. And it sounds like a fine idea. Showing that this is a community problem may encourage people to speak up about their encounters and give the police more clues to be able to catch the scammers and run the operation out-of-town. If more people know about such scams, fewer will fall for them. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.