There are lot of scammers everywhere. Most of us have already experienced being solicited by someone pretending to be someone they are not.
When contacted by someone asking for money, or in some cases asking you to buy gift cards, ALWAYS verify the authenticity of the person making the request.
Spotting a scam
- Don’t give out your passwords, account or credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
- Verify email sender email address
- Never make an up-front payment for a promised prize. If you’re told that you have to pay fees or taxes to receive a prize, it’s a scam.
- Don’t fall for someone telling you that you need to pay immediately. For example, they may ask you to wire the money, send it by courier, or put the money on a prepaid card and send it to them. Once you send the money, it’s likely gone for good.
- Don’t cash a check from someone that asks you to return a portion of the check to them. When the check bounces, you’ll have lost the money that you sent.
- Ask yourself why someone is trying so hard to give you a "great deal." If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Please insert in your parish bulletin:
“We have been notified of an active texting, email scam targeting pastors and parishioners. In the fraudulent texts, the pastor, mentioned by name asks for donations of gift cards. Please be aware that this is a scam and do not respond. The Diocese of Laredo and our priests will not solicit donations in this way”.
We want to share that yesterday, we learned that some our parishioners were receiving text messages from someone pretending to be Fr. Lawrence asking for donations of google play gift cards for the children in the hospital. The text messages are coming from the following number (830) 310 6658.
Good to hear from you, how are you doing? I need to get an iTunes gift card of 200$ (100$ denominations) for a friend going through cancer but I cant do this now because I'm currently busy. Can you get it from any store around you now? I'll pay back. Help me scratch the back of the card to reveal the pin, then take a snap shot of the back showing the pin and have it sent to me here.
At around 10:30 this morning I took a call where caller wanting to communicate with one of our Deacons. Call was suppose to be coming from Law Enforcement at the state level. Person identified herself as Capt. Viola Harris badge# 3085.
She then proceeded to request that the Deacon call the Federal Crime Enforcement Office 315-755- 5000 and contact Chloe Decker Extension 9212. Call was about the Deacon's niece. I got a call back from the Deacon to let me know that his niece was fine and that the whole thing was a scam. The call came in on phone number 44173663827.
We have been notified by several parishioners and priests of an active email and text scam targeting pastors and parishioners. In the fraudulent emails and texts, the pastor, mentioned by name, asks for donations of gift cards. Please be aware that this is a scam, and do not respond. The Diocese of Laredo and our priests will not solicit donations in this way.
Please spread the word.