ucanews.com reporter, Manila
Updated: April 30, 2019 10:21 AM GMT
A screenshot of a warning posted by Manila Cathedral about an online scam.
Church leaders in the Philippines have warned against the proliferation of online scams that have recently targeted unsuspecting Catholics.
Manila Cathedral issued a call last week against a social media account selling "miraculous medals" and claiming to be connected with the Church.The bogus Facebook account "Youth for Manila Cathedral" claimed religious items it was selling had been blessed by Vatican priests and bishops. Simony," it added.In the central Philippines, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu reminded Catholics to exercise caution when it comes to the use of social media."Be extra careful and don’t be gullible and believe everything that is posted online but rather, always double check," said the prelate.He warned people not to rush in sending donations if one is not sure where the money will go.
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao also warned against a message claiming to have come from his diocese soliciting money supposedly to go towards "triple bypass surgery" for him.Archbishop Emeritus Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato has also had his name used in "text scam" asking for funds supposedly for a medical procedure and medication for him."There is no truth in this," read a statement from the diocese.It advised Catholics to refrain from giving any money if they receive such a request.The diocese said it is already trying to trace the source of the message with the help of experts and the authorities.Bohol Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran, meanwhile, said a "solicitation letter" using his name has also been circulating on social media, supposedly asking for money for a girl in Sierra Leone."May I respectfully inform and warn you against this deception which seeks to swindle church institutions by fraudulently using the name of church authorities to solicit funds," added Bishop Uy.He said the official email address of Tagbilaran Diocese has been hacked.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.