Help Now >
Beware scammers, Cardinal Dolan warns, after online fraudster targets followers
FREE Catholic Classes
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York issued a statement Monday clarifying that he will not and has never used social media to privately solicit donations. The cardinal made the statement in response to an online scam operation being conducted using his name to solicit funds.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
New York City, N.Y., (CNA) - Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York issued a statement Monday clarifying that he will not and has never used social media to privately solicit donations. The cardinal made the statement in response to an online scam operation being conducted using his name to solicit funds.
"I've heard from some of you you've received Facebook or Twitter messages from an account pretending to be me," said the archbishop on Twitter Sept. 16. "Please know I will never reach out privately on social media to ask for donations."
Dolan encouraged anyone who had been asked to donate money by an account purporting to be him on Twitter or Facebook to report it to the archdiocese.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York told CNA that they had received "several reports" that someone impersonating Cardinal Dolan was requesting money from people, "ostensibly for charitable purposes," and that this was not the first time something like this has happened.
"Sadly, we've seen this scam being used in the past few months with other religious figures pastors, priests, other clergy being impersonated, and so wanted to remind people that Cardinal Dolan will never solicit donations in this way," said Joseph Zwilling, the archdiocese's director of communications.
Zwilling added that, "While the internet and social media can be great tools of evangelization, they can also be used by unscrupulous individuals seeking to 'rip-off' trusting and generous people."
"It's always a good idea to be cautious, and double or triple check, especially online, that the person is who he or she claims to be!"
These types of scams are called "phishing," and are relatively common. A "phisher" will pose as either a known, trusted person or as a website, and request money, passwords, or other protected information. Frequently, phishers will create spoof emails and addresses that look like genuine emails from an organization or person in order to harvest passwords and credit card information from an unsuspecting victim.
A person can protect themselves from phishing by using security tools like two-factor authentication, and exercising constant vigilance before sending personal information or money electronically. Electronic security experts advise considering if any request is typical policy for an organization, and to take a step back before blindly giving away sensitive info.
Other safety recommendations include checking the full email or account address to ensure the authenticity of the sender or, in the example of a public figure such as Cardinal Dolan, to see if the social media account is verified as authentic.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.