E-mail scams have been a constant threat and annoyance to our online communications, and now, scamming through text messaging is becoming more prevalent.
A couple members of our Diocese recently received a bogus text message from the "Bishop" asking them to purchase gift cards for a cancer patient because he was in a meeting and couldn’t do it. One of the phone numbers being used is (808) 401-2192. Bishop Bob would never send any communication (text, email, letter, fax, etc.) requesting gift cards. Report these fraudulent communications to the appropriate authorities and block the sender(s).
Complicating matters are that scammers are using legitimate local numbers to lure people in. Known as spoofing, a text or call could even appear to come from a friend or familiar contact. Always remain vigilant about sharing personal information and question requests for something of value from anyone! When in doubt, always contact the person directly to reconfirm.
A reminder that we have shared to churches repeatedly, is to remove email addresses from their websites and to use a contact form. We are now also recommending that churches do not display someone's personal phone number.
For more information and to watch a short informative video about spoofing, visit the FCC website HERE