texts and tells you “I’m a diocesan meeting and can’t break away, but I would ask you to get $300 of gifts cards for some parishioners in cancer treatment….:
Don’t respond. Just swipe left, delete, block the number or whatever it takes to ignore the request. It is just another form of a phishing expedition intended to defraud you of your treasures. There is a whole lot of it going around all over the nation. Warning have been posted on parish and diocesan websites, placed in bulletins, and sent out in parish emails.
You need to know how to identify and avoid scams, because, if you provide your information or send money to a scammer, there is often little that can be done to help get your money back.
Never trust caller or number ID. Scammer know how to spoof those to make it appear as though it is coming from an authentic source. Remember you can always validate a person’s organization by calling them back through an official phone number. Scammers may pose as government officials, law enforcement, bank employees or your parish priest to steal your personal information and extract money.
Know the red flags. In many of the most common types of scams, you may be:
- Pressured to send money
- Threatened with law enforcement action
- Told to purchase gift cards and provide codes as a form of payment
- Asked to cash a check for a stranger
- Instructed to make a cash deposit for sweepstakes
- Offered more than you are asking for something with a request to send the over-payment elsewhere
- Asked to give remote-control access to your computer
The list is longer than this. So, be careful and be sensible…we parish priests ask for your financial support all time… but I am pretty sure soliciting gifts cards is not one of means of raising funds for the church.