Have you received text messages, emails, or messages through Facebook messenger from someone claiming to be your pastor and asking for money or gift cards, indicating it’s an emergency? Don’t give. It’s not your pastor. It’s a scam. Your pastor will never contact a parishioner directly with an emergency request for cash or gift cards. Messages asking parishioners to help fulfill a need would come through the parish’s or the diocese’s official communication channels or be accomplished through a collection approved by the diocese. In addition, please note that neither your parish nor the diocese will ever sell or give away parishioners’ personal information.
If you’re not sure about a text or email you’ve received, do not respond. Call your parish office right away to notify a staff member. You can also file a report through the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant which helps the FTC detect patterns of fraud and abuse by going to reportfraud.ftc.gov. The email that Fr. Dave uses is email@example.com. The email that Fr. Jason uses is Jdsouza@stjohndefiance.org.