The Diocese of Raleigh sent this ‘Fraud Awareness’ memo to all pastors so that they maintain vigilance against fraud during these times and to know what action to take if fraud is suspected. Fr. Mark believes that parishioners might be interested in reading the memo . . .
More Fraud Awareness -- Exercise Caution With Offers of Financial Relief for Churches
Unfortunately, we are already seeing that the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis is resulting in an increased number of fraud and scam activity. Each of us are reminded to be extra vigilant in examining our emails, voicemails, and texts for potential scams.
You will likely receive a lot of information from various sources regarding new federal laws passed and signed into law recently, notably, the CARES Act Provisions providing Small Business Administration (SBA) and/or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief for Catholic entities
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Public Affairs is closely monitoring developments in Washington to see if there are potential, valid, opportunities for funding relief through financial assistance vehicles like these. HOWEVER, that information would come to you via the Diocese of Raleigh, the USCCB, or a local financial institution that you are familiar with.
In the meantime, as with any “too good to be true” or “first come, first served” or other unsolicited offer or requests, BE VERY CAUTIOUS IN RESPONDING OR CLICKING LINKS.
If you are ever unsure of the validity of an email, voicemail or text request please forward your question/concern to: IT.Support@raldioc.org (Catholic Center) or Parish365.Support@raldioc.org (Parishes on our MSO365 System)
Always verify transactional requests by calling a known good phone number to the other staff member or approving authority and explain the request in detail before proceeding, even if this causes a little extra effort or delay. Do whatever it takes to ensure transactions are legitimate.
Please note in particular . . .
- DO NOT respond or interact with emails with links to a ‘Church Financing Pre-Qualification Forms’.
- DO NOT give your bank information to anyone calling or emailing to set this up for you. Scams have already started – the IRS will not contact you by phone or email.
- DO NOT Share information that could in any way provide knowledge to create a “background file” on a person or subject.
- DO NOT perform financial transactions like payroll account changes of any type, fund transfers, payments without verification.