Please be alert to a scam that unfortunately has been perpetrated in our local area. Please beware of any unsolicited texts or emails asking for any type of “untraceable” funds. As you may have seen in recent news reports, a phishing scam has been affecting a small number of parishes within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This scam involves parishioners receiving a text message, email, or robotic call from a source alleging to be the pastor of the local parish. These messages contain a request for parishioners to purchase gift cards for a parish fundraiser and then send the gift card numbers back to the scammer claiming to be the pastor.
As always, if you see an e-mail or a text message that is suspicious, do not click on any links inside of the e-mail, do not give away any personal or financial information, and delete the e-mail.
Gift Card Scam
In this scam, the parishioners of a parish are the targets. An unknown person creates an e-mail address account which contains the pastor’s name or the name of the church. An e-mail is then sent to the parishioners requesting them to purchase a gift card and proceeded to tell the unknown person the numbers off of the back of the cards. After the person received the numbers, they stopped sending emails.
Donation or Fundraising Campaign Scam
A variation of the gift card scam involves a phony donation campaign which uses the story and/or picture of an ill parishioner or family member. Again, this is not legitimate and should be ignored.
Do Not provide any of your personal information. Simply, Hang Up. Please pass this information on to all family members and
friends to alert them accordingly.