Preventing email and text scams

JEFFERSON CITY — The Diocese of Jefferson City warns the public of what appears to be an ongoing phishing scam involving emails and texts purportedly from priests or parish/Chancery staff. This scam has hit many parishes across the United States. The email or text purports to be from a person the target knows, such as one’s pastor, a parish staff member, the bishop or someone else from the Church. If the target responds to the fake email or text, the sender will follow up with a request for some sort of monetary assistance, often for gift cards or iTune cards. It is truly unfortunate cyber criminals will attempt to exploit the generous nature of our community. Sending emails or texts asking for cash or gifts cards is not how priests, parishes or the Diocese of Jefferson City seeks financial assistance for our work. If you receive an email or text from a trusted church personnel asking for assistance, confirm by calling that person and do NOT respond to the email or text. For more information on phishing scams and email security, review this attached handout. The FBI website address to file an online Internet crime complaint is https://www.ic3.gov.