Tuesday, March 09, 2021

A Westport priest has highlighted a situation whereby potential scammers are getting hold of parishioners’ email addresses and then contacting them pretending to be a priest.
Fr Charlie McDonnell said he recently became aware of this attempted scam and warned his parishioners not to fall for it. He said that scammers would trawl through the Parish website or the newsletter that is available online looking for email addresses.
Then they would email these addresses from a fake account using the priest’s name looking for help.
“If anyone has received one of these mails, either ignore or report it but don’t hand over any money or vouchers,” said the Westport-based priest.
A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said that they are not currently aware of these types of incidents but said the organisation’s messaging and advice around Phone Fraud otherwise known as Phishing, remains the same.
“Always say no to unsolicited callers, texters or emails seeking private information about you. Independently verify any requests for information and never use the contact details supplied to you by the caller, texter or emails,” they said.
“The caller may already have some information about you so don’t trust them because they use your name or other personal information,” they added.

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