MEMO:          ADIVCE REGARDING BEING ALERT FOR SCAMS

Brothers and Sisters,

This has sadly become something that I hear nearly every month:  that someone from our parishes has received a phone call, text message, or e-mail claiming to be from me and asking for money in some way (like a gift card, for example).  Sometimes the scammer asks for cash, sometimes gift cards, and sometimes the scammer asks for a wire transfer of money.  Often the scammer claims that the money is for myself, the poor, or a member of the parish that is in immediate financial need.

Please know and be aware that I will NEVER ask you to give money to me.  I will only encourage you to donate money to the parish though our official channels of either: 

1) the usual collection during Mass, or

2) through our official electronic donation platform 

If you receive a phone call, text, or e-mail asking for money in any form that claims to be from either myself or from the parish, be suspicious.  Remember, I will NEVER ask you to send money to me.  I will only encourage you to donate to the parish itself.

If you believe that you have been the victim of fraud, scam, or swindle, I strongly encourage you to contact local law enforcement.  I also encourage you to report suspected fraudulent e-mails, texts, phone calls (etcetera) to law enforcement.

Finally, please spread the word.  Talk to your neighbors, family members, and friends.  Tell them that Father Jeremy told the whole parish to be alert for possible scams.  Tell them that Father Jeremy and the parish will never ask you to text gift card codes or ask you to send money somewhere other than directly to the parish through our usual and official channels.  If you are ever unsure as to if the communication is from myself or the parish, then please speak to me in person.  Fortunately, our small parishes give all of us the opportunity to speak to the priest on the weekend.

Remember, I will only ever ask you to give money to the parish in our formal collection at Mass or through our parish electronic donation platform.  Please do not send money in any form to someone claiming to be the priest or claiming to represent the parish.

Please speak to me in person with any questions or concerns.

God be near,

Father Jeremy

Pastor