Good afternoon. It has come to the parish’s attention that someone is emailing and texting individuals across the parish impersonating Fr. Jonathan. There have been similar scams in the past for Fr. Jonathan, Fr. Anthony and Dcn. Bryan.
At times these emails and texts will copy our normal “signature.” For example, with a resent scam impersonating Dcn. Bryan, the email signed off with his normal email signature: “In The Red /Deacon Bryan A. Root Good Shepherd Catholic Church Montrose, MI 48457 810-639-2700”
Below is an example of the latest texting scam impersonating Fr. Jonathan:
“_____ (person’s name), I need a favor from you, please text me back as soon as possible. Fr. Jonathan Perrotta”
At first blush, this message may look real enough. There are, however, some clues to look for confirming the message is a fake:
- The number that is texting you is wrong; it is not Fr. Jonathan’s number
- If it’s an email, the ‘from’ email address is wrong (though the name is correct). This is the biggest giveaway. Always check the actual address.
- The use of improper grammar.
The idea behind the scam is to get the reader to let their guard down by making them believe the sender is a trusted source. If someone then replies to the message, their text number or email address is harvested and used to scam others.
Fr. Jonathan, Fr. Anthony, Dcn. Bryan, Dcn. Rich and another other official representative of our parishes will NEVER ask you for money or gift cards through email or text or any other way to be sent directly to them. All requests for special donations will be done through official channels like our parish website, bulletin, Mass announcements, App, Facebook page, etc. We will NEVER ask you to buy us gift cards.
Anytime a message looks even the slightest bit “funny” or out of character, do invest in a quick call to the individual to verify in person or through the parish office.