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Peterborough police warn of fake bishop email scam targeting parishioners

Peterborough police are warning about a scam in which a person claims to be a bishop requesting iTunes gift cards.
Peterborough police are warning about a scam in which a person claims to be a bishop requesting iTunes gift cards. File

Peterborough police say scammers are now impersonating the area bishop as a means to target parishioners for electronic gift cards.

Last month, police first warned about a circulating email claiming to be from a Peterborough priest which asks the recipient to purchase $400 in iTunes gift cards for a friend battling cancer.

Recipients were asked to photograph the numbers on the card and email the image back to the “priest.”

However, police say the email scam has now extended to senders claiming to be the area bishop with the email being signed in the bishop’s name.

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“To date, no one locally has fallen victim to the scam,” police said Thursday.

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“The Peterborough Police Service continues to work closely with the Peterborough Diocese to ensure parishioners are informed regarding this scam,” police said.

Police say the email scam appears to be targeting Catholic parishioners.

Anyone who receives the fraudulent email is asked to contact the Office of the Bishop/Communications of the Peterborough Diocese at ab@peterboroughdiocese.org or 705-745-5123 and also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

Police say to contact them if you have fallen victim to the fraud.

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