Alert about fraudulent messages in the name of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Jasjot Singh

Father Davide Meli, chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, warned on Monday that false messages are being sent through an email using the name of the Latin Patriarch, Msgr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

“Warning: emails sent from [email protected] they are part of a scam. False email messages are being sent by someone posing as His Beatitude. Please be vigilant,” the priest said in a statement.

The Vatican agency Fides explained that these messages are intended to “extort money from people who are unaware of the increasingly aggressive forms of deception implemented by criminals who use the web and social networks.”

He also specified that the Patriarchate is calling on the parishioners to be attentive “to the new systems used to extort people sensitive to requests for financial aid made on behalf of worthy institutions, promoters of charitable works in contexts marked by poverty and deprivation”.

Fides recalled that “digital scams using email systems (phishing emails) can also use real company logos, real names of well-known people and other similar tools to appear authentic”.

“The creators of these types of scams can create email addresses that appear very similar or even identical to those used by people known to the recipients of the deceptive messages, and that are not blocked by digital protection systems,” he concluded.

Bishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, whose identity is being violated, was Custos of the Holy Land between 2004 and 2016.

In 2016, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop and Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

In October 2020, the Holy Father named him the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

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