Popular US pastor Charles Stanley has reportedly been a victim of a social media scam.
Posts and messages have been circulating on social media claiming that the former pastor of First Baptist Church, who's 88, had started a CBD oil business.
According to Harvard Medical School, CBD is the "second most active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana)". Although it is one of hundreds of cannabis ingredients, there is reportedly "no evidence of public health related problems" associated with the use of pure CBD and no proof that a "high" can be achieved.
In a statement, In Touch Ministries, Stanley's TV, Radio and digital resources ministry, said: "Scammers have been posting Dr. Charles Stanley's image, falsely reporting that Dr. Stanley is beginning a new business venture in CBD oil. Some of the articles even utilise fake Fox News headers to appear more convincing. However, none of it is true. IT IS A SCAM. Dr. Stanley has not begun any new venture."
"PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON THESE DECEPTIVE POSTS, EMAILS, TEXTS, OR WEBSITES. Scammers are attempting to trick you into giving your personal information or infect your electronic devices by using Dr. Stanley's image," the statement continued.
There were adverts circulating on Facebook and other social media platforms selling "Charles Stanley CBD gummies" and "Charles Stanley CBD oil" along with a picture of a marijuana leaf, according to Christianity Today (CT).
"This is false and Dr. Stanley does not endorse anything like this," Seth Grey from In Touch Ministries told CT.
"Our social media team has been working with Facebook to quickly remove these false ads as soon as we are alerted to them," he continued.
Dr Stanley retired from the leadership of a 13,000-member congregation in September last year leaving Pastor Anthony George to head the church.