The dollar amount involved is getting larger; some $2 billion dollars were lost from 1998-2001 due to fraudulant activities and the number is on the rise. The number of cases are more common nowadays.
More scammers are taking advantage of the trust of the religious community members. Promising high return and trying eliminate the guilt of greed by promising to donate back some of the profits back for a good cause. Often the pastors are targeted first, since they have more influence and power. Then the members come next.
If you think it is safe to do business with your religious organization, think again. Nothing is 100% safe.Don't give out cash without any record. Do some research on the parties you are dealing with. And don't be greed.