FRAUD ALERT

You Can Help Stop Fraud!

It has come to our attention that parishioners are receiving emails from Rev. Marian Stinson asking for financial assistance in the form of gift cards or wiring money. This is not how St. Mary’s handles asking for donations of any kind.

Our approach to requesting assistance is to provide information about an organization or cause and ask for your support through the Parish Post or the Sunday announcement sheet found in the bulletin. Currently our main focus has been the Nourish Food Bank. We have asked for your support in sending checks designated for the Clergy Discretionary Fund. In turn, a check is sent to the food bank bi-monthly to support the feeding program.

When you receive an email asking for something that does not feel right, it probably is fraudulent. Look at the email address, it is really from the person its claiming to be? Does it look funny- with letters, numbers, symbols? Does the message read like it was written by someone your know?This is someone “Phishing” for your personal information.

Be St. Mary’s strong – you should never open these types of emails or respond. The best course of action is to report it to the office and delete it.

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam or know someone who has, report it to the police and to AARP Fraud Line. The AARP call center is staffed with trained volunteers to speak with you, listen, and document the situation. They work closely with the Attorney Generals office and local police divisions to stop crime. In some cases, they have been able to recover funds lost. Below is the link for more information on this topic.

Scam Phone Calls-Many of you may have received calls from anywhere in the U.S. or Internationally requesting you to call back. The caller may be threatening you with money owed or that your social security is in jeopardy. These types of calls are bogus. The best thing is not to answer any call that is coming from a number you do not recognize. If you are not sure, allow the call to go to voice mail and then check it. This screening process allows you to return the call if it is legitimate. Otherwise delete and block it from your call list.