Fraudsters have been cashing in on the fame and reputation of Taiwan’s “father of reflexology,” Father Josef Eugster, and taking advantage of customers’ soft hearts, by concocting a story that the priest has been defrauded of his pension, and needs to sell shoes online to survive. The scammers urge readers to purchase foot massage shoes in order to recoup the Father Eugster’s losses.
United Daily News reports that recently, news that Father Eugster had been defrauded of his pension has spread like wildfire on social media. The message comes with a link to a website that offers reflexology shoes at a discount price of NT$629. The shoes are said to be invented by Father Eugster, and profits will not only secure the popular priest’s survival in old age, but will also help to build a nursing home in Taitung County.
The shoes are said to help you detox, prevent disease, and reduce fatigue.
Taitung County Police Bureau Dawu Branch said that the website is a fraud. Representatives of Fr.Josef Eugster’s H.D.Asso.R.O.C urged the public not to be mislead, and not to purchase the shoes.
Police said the website used composite images gleaned from Facebook and Taiwan media to concoct a story. Carefully edited news video gives the impression that the story of the elderly priest being defrauded was widely reported in the media. However, police say that no fraud has been reported.
Criminal Investigation Bureau officers said that the advertised merchandise comes from China. The website is located abroad, making investigations difficult. All we can do is urge the public not to purchase the shoes, the CIB said.
Taiwan English News found the site to be www.miseari.com. The domain is registered under the name Vera Olave with an address and phone number in District of Columbia, USA. The IP of the site is located in Hong Kong.
The website says that Father Eugster was defrauded by a man who took advantage of his compassionate nature by telling the priest that he was suffering from cancer and urgently needed money for treatment.
Father Josef Eugster is 79 years old and first came to Taiwan from Switzerland in 1970 as a missionary of the Bethlehem Mission Society.
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