LOUISVILLE, Ky. — LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Ken Handel received a text from someone who signed the message as “Father Scott J. Wimsett.”
Father Scott is the priest at Handel’s parish, Our Lady of Lourdes.
“My phone beeped, and I looked down and there was this text from this priest, Father Scott,” he said.
In the message, the sender begins with urgency. “Ken, I need a favor,” they ask. “Please text me back as soon as possible.”
When Handel responds, the sender asks for an eBay gift card for some patient “batting” [battling] cancer in the hospital. Then it follows with a blessing – “may the peace of the lord continue to be with you” and signs Father Scott J. Wimsett.
“Well I immediately thought that I didn’t feel very vulnerable about it. I’ve had phishing training at work and stuff, but I thought elderly people could be vulnerable to it,” Handel said.
WHAS11 News spoke with Father Wimsett and he confirmed that it isn’t him texting and is a scam.
The parish had to go as far as putting a message in their weekly bulletin warning parishioners. They say any correspondence from them will come from an email that contains the parish’s web address. Most importantly, they will never text or email for money.
“It’s definitely – they don’t have any morals or scruples to do that,” Handel said.