Who do people say that I am?”
Jesus once asked that question of his disciples, to try to draw them to the truth. Really, it’s a good question for each of us to ask of ourselves – what is my identity? Am I a mother/father? Do I know myself best by my work? Or is my deepest identity as a child of God? A beloved son or daughter of our Heavenly Father?
Where am I going with this? Unfortunately, to talk about a recent problem.
We live in an age of identity theft; and, sadly, people are using the goodwill of faithful people and the name of a pastor to steal money. Earlier this week, apparently a bunch of emails were sent out in my name asking for help which, if pat-terns repeat, would eventually lead to asking to purchase gift cards for a sick child, with photos of the activation codes texted to a cellphone number. Have you gotten these messages? I know I have, and they are very cunningly written.
Just a few tips:
- For email, I will only contact you from email@example.com. Always check not just the sending name,
but the sending email address and reply address. The ‘sending’ address can be faked, but the reply address is the give-away.
- For phone calls, I will always and only use the parish phone number. I only use my cell phone for personal and
staff purposes. There should never be a need to text me.
- I will never ask you for emergency money or gift cards in an email or text.
I hope this helps, and I’m sorry that this sort of ‘phishing’ takes place. Yet another sign that the world needs Christ. Let’s pray for the conversion of those who prey on the goodwill of others, and for wisdom and discernment for those who are preyed upon.
Gratefully in Christ,