Recently parishioners have received emails from scammers impersonating their priest, bishop, or key people in the parish. The scammers set up a fake email address under the impersonated person’s name. The email appears to be coming from the real person but upon further scrutiny the scammer is using a different email account. Almost all of these emails are brief and ask for a favour to buy gift cards or send money.
Please act with caution and be prudent when it comes to responding to requests for money, even from someone claiming to be a priest or from individuals within the Church community. Priests and church employees will not request payments of gift cards, bitcoin or wire transfers.
All donations for legitimate parish and diocesan activities are through traditional verifiable methods and to the charitable organization, not individuals.
The Diocese of Victoria employee’s and priest’s have an official @rcdvictoria.org email address and parish emails are well advertised and on their website. The Diocese also uses firstname.lastname@example.org for group email communication.
Before you give money to anyone or any organization; stop and talk to a trusted friend or relative to determine the authenticity, appropriateness and validity of the request or call the Diocesan Finance Office 250-479-1331.
If you feel that you have been the victim of a financial scam, you are encouraged to make a report to the police.
Please see the BC government website for a list of common scams and some resources: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/seniors/financial-legal-matters/scams-and-fraud
To read the memo in PDF format, click here.