There are many scams going around masquerading as your clergy (priests, deacons or lately, the bishop).
Please exercise caution when responding to email messages. If you receive unusual emails, check the sender's email address to see whether it is the person’s genuine address. Even if the sender's address looks correct, always verify suspicious emails by phoning the sender. There have been many similar scams reported by several parishes in our diocese and across Canada.
Note that these scams do not stop at emails. Those in social media should stay vigilant when responding to friend requests or to other compelling posts requiring a response. There are many fake Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts trying to impersonate people you know and our church leaders. Some scammers may take the time to build a relationship with you to gain your trust, before trying to extort money or other things like gift cards.
Please exercise vigilance when you are being charitable. Use the channels you are most familiar with and avoid becoming victims of a scam. Below are samples of scam emails: ================ EXAMPLE 1 Subject: Hello.. Good day, [your name] Please do you have a moment? Regards Bishop *** or Fr. *** Sent from my iPhone ================ EXAMPLE 2 I need a favor from you, please email me back as soon as possible Hope to hear from you soon.
Blessings Fr. *** Sent from my iPhone ================ EXAMPLE 3 To: ***** Subject: Re: GOD BLESS YOU I should have called you yet I can't do this now because am in a pressing meeting, i need to get an iTunes card of $500 denomination of $50 or $100 for a friend at the hospital, would you be able to get it from any store around you? I'll pay you back when I get back.Let me know asap if you can get the cards for me Blessings Fr. ***