From Local Sources
JASPER -- A local church is warning residents of a scam that has come to their attention.
Father Ray Brenner from Saint Joseph Parish says someone is sending e-mails pretending to be the local priest. The headline reads “many blessings,” and sent from a gmail account. The message goes on to ask for a favor.
If you reply to the e-mail, the scammer asks for hundreds of dollars in gift cards.
The parish says, with father Brenner being a trusted member of the community, they fear people may fall for the scam.
Church officials have contacted Jasper Police. If you have been contacted, you’re asked to file a report with the police department.
See the full e-mail from church officials below....
At approximately 7:00 PM Wednesday evening it was discovered there was an active scam being worked by email and text using the identity of Father Ray Brenner. The Jasper Police Department was notified.
Emails with the headline: "Many Blessings" were being sent from firstname.lastname@example.org., this is not Father Ray's email address. The message went on to say: "Hello. How are you? I need a favor from you. Email me back when you get this message. Many Blessings. Sent from my iPhone"
If you responded, the next message asked you to please get $300 in gift cards, then scratch the backs to expose the card number, photograph it and forward to the email or text number. Again, this was not Father Ray.
Our main concern is with Father Ray being a trusted member of our community people might respond without inquiring further. If anyone has responded and forwarded photos or cards they are asked to stop by the Jasper Police Department to file a report.
Father Ray does extend a note of appreciation to the 120 Facebook members that shared this information in less than two hours. Perhaps saving many the pain of being taken advantage of.