There continues to be folks receiving emails and/or text messages — supposedly from me (in fact, this is a national problem, so substitute the name of your pastor). The most recent phishing emails and text: “In a Diocesan meeting and unable to talk but I need three gift cards for some cancer patients….” Please remember (a) I will never reach out to you by email or text asking you to procure gift cards or electronically transfer funds, and (b) ignore such texts or emails, and (c) add the sender to your spam/blocked caller list.
Rule of thumb, if your first inclination is “Really, why is Fr. George texting me?” and especially if the message is “Are you there,” “Are you available now” or “Are you in the office” or something equally vague — just delete the text and block the number that sent the text (both Apple and Android phones have that capability). The emails should be treated the same way.
Some folks responded to the text and received a reply asking for cash, checks, gift cards, and all the typical things that shout “scam.” Just search “email and text scams pastors” in your search engine and you will see how widespread this is. We are making you aware so you don’t become a victim of these scams.
Just an indication of wide-spread and ubiquitous this is… even I have received the scam in my parish email.
Have a scam free day