I’ve heard from people around the state of Rhode Island today that they’ve been contacted by text message by someone claiming to be me and asking them to buy gift cards and send them to me.
That’s not me. Really. I wouldn’t ask you to do that.
That scam has been going around for years using email. Generally the message misspells my last name or gets my title wrong, and it’s never from my @episcopalri.org email address. (Usually it seems to come from a fake gmail address that is “spoofing” my name.) I have a digital certificate that only I can use, and only on my devices, to send email. My messages usually have a special badge or a funny .p7s file attachment that shows it was SMIME signed.
This is the first I’ve heard of it as a text message. People have forwarded me screen captures of the messages and the ones I’ve seen are not using my phone number. If you get a text and suspect it’s not me (and it’s not if I’m asking for money) ask the sender to email you from one of my official accounts. If they demure, it’s a scam.
Sorry for the bother, but honestly, there’s nothing I really can do on my end. Hopefully no one will fall for this, but people are kind and they want to help out, and the scammers take advantage of that. Grrr.