June 16, 2020 3:42 pm

SCAM ALERT! Some parishioners have notified us that they are receiving emails that pretend to be coming from Fr. Michael Steltenkamp. A copy of a similar scam was circulating last summer by telephone texts. This is a copy of this year’s email scam being received by some parishioners:
“On Monday, June 15, 2020, 04:31:46 PM EDT, Rev.Michael F. Steltenkamp wrote: Hi, I need a task from you. Email me back immediately you receive this Have a blessed day.”
When you reply, the first email is followed by:
“On Monday, June 15, 2020, 7:23 PM, Rev.Michael F. Steltenkamp wrote: Good to hear from you, how are you? I need to get a Google play gift card to help a sick parishioner going through cancer in the hospital but i can’t do this now because I’m currently busy in a meeting. Can you get it from any store around you now? I’ll pay you back as soon as i get back. Let me know asap if you can get the cards for me. May the peace of the Lord continue to be with you.”
Please note that the email has typos and errors. It refers to “Rev.Michael” which is NOT how our Fr. Mike refers to himself and there is no space between Rev. and Michael. Errors in messages can be a clue of scams.
This is a scam! BEWARE. The email address is not a legitimate parish email and it is not Fr. Mike’s personal email. Scammers continue to impersonate priests and deacons, not just in our Diocese but in Grand Rapids and other dioceses, too. For more information you can see the May 16, 2019 article in the National Catholic Register, https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/scammers-pose-pastors-email-ask-faithful-buy-gift-cards. These are digital PIRATES trying to steal money.
Clergy will never contact you directly for an emergency request for cash or gift cards. Requests for help from parishes come directly from the parish office, other official channels, or a special collection during Mass. Call the office if necessary. You can report scams to cp_email@mi.gov
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