Reminder: Beware of Fraudsters!
“What is communications scamming?”
Scammers may pretend to be a clergyman or lay minister asking parishioners for gift card contributions. Scammers use email, text and even voice calls. Bogus emails often include a legitimate looking email address. Bogus text messages and voice calls may include a caller ID that appears to be from a local number, and may even display the name of a familiar clergyman or lay minister. Often, the imposter asks you to buy a popular gift card (e.g. iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, etc.) and then asks for the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. Those numbers let the scammer immediately get the money you loaded onto the card.
“What should I do?”
Do not notify the parish office! There are so many fraudulent emails, texts and voice calls daily that the parish clergy and staff simply do not have time to address each occurrence. Instead, educate yourself about fraudulent tactics so you can avoid falling prey to them. If you or someone you know paid a scammer with a gift card, call the card company and tell them the gift card was used in a scam.
Amazon: (888) 280-4331
Google Play: (855) 466-4438
iTunes: (800) 275-2273 (then say “gift card” to be connected to a live representative)
MoneyPak: (866) 795-7969
If you wish, you may file an online report with the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission.