Someone claiming to be the Parish Priest is messaging people on WhatsApp asking them to text back and requesting they send funds and gift vouchers to them. The number of parishes caught up in this scam has increased and is becoming more widespread within the Diocese. We reiterate that one of the numbers used for the text messages is 0488 875 092. THIS IS A FALSE ACCOUNT. Please DO NOT respond to the text messages received from this number but call or contact the Parish Office or Priest instead to verify the sender of the messages as well as report the incident.
For those who are affected, the Diocesan IT team have informed us that all your online identities / accounts such as email, social media, bank accounts and services may also be compromised. All accounts should have their passwords changed. We also recommend that any information you have about yourself in online profiles (date of birth, location, age, address, phone numbers) be removed to make it less accessible for unauthorised use.
This issue has been raised by the Diocese of Parramatta with Parramatta Police on behalf of the affected parishes so that our local police can escalate this matter to the NSW Police cybercrime unit.