I am Looking For:

Notices for Parishes

Telephone Scam Warning from IRS 

To: Pastors, Parish Administrators, Principals, Business Managers/Bookkeepers and Secretaries

From: David Gabert

Date: September 19, 2014

RE: Telephone Scam Warning from IRS

The Internal Revenue Service is warning individuals and organizations about a sophisticated telephone scam targeting taxpayers and other organizations who report information to the IRS, including Diocesan entities. In the typical scenario, victims receive a phone call and may be told they owe money to the IRS. In the alternative, the victim may be told they are entitled to a refund or that they have the opportunity to apply a payment to an amount that is due to the IRS.

The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the United States mail. The IRS never asks for a credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone. The IRS also does not initiate contact by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication such as text messages and social media.

This scam has impacted at least one New Hampshire parish, and the IRS reports that it has received 90,000 complaints of telephone scams. Below are a few ways to spot suspicious calls and help protect your organization, and I encourage you to share this with your bookkeeper, secretary, and other appropriate staff.

Some of the characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of an individual taxpayer’s Social Security number or other information about the organization that would lead the victim to believe the scammer is calling from the IRS.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that the IRS is calling.

If you receive a phone call from an individual claiming to be from the IRS:

  • Do not provide any information about the parish or its employees, bank accounts, history of IRS filings, or any other identifying information.
  • Explain that you do not respond to inquiries over the phone and ask for written notice of the information. If the caller asks for your name, address, or other personal information to provide the written notice, explain that you should not have to provide these details and that the IRS already should have the necessary contact information on file.
  • Contact me at 663-0191 or dgabert@rcbm.org, and I can help you assess the information the scammer revealed to determine if there are any modifications the parish should consider to protect its accounts. We also may consider making a claim with the Department of the Treasury or Federal Trade Commission.

As an aside, IRS has reported that this scam has become aggressive and frequently targets recent immigrants to the United States. Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers frequently are insulting or hostile, apparently to scare their potential victims.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any additional information about this issue.


 

Catholicnh.org Goes Mobile

The Communication Office is proud to introduce the new mobile version of our online directory and calendar. Because navigation of a website can be difficult on a small device, we have created a mobile version of our most visited pages, the directory and calendar, designed specifically for viewing on smaller screens. Our mobile website will look the same on any phone, be it the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry. There is no need download an app; simply visit catholicnh.org on your mobile device and you will be directed to the mobile site. Finding a Mass time or event near you is now easier than ever.

Our new calendar has several enhanced features including:

  • more search options
  • a slide show featuring diocesan events
  • the ability to easily post flyers and photos
  • links to post events on social media sites.

All Catholic organizations in New Hampshire are welcome to submit their events. Feel free to pass along this link to our online calendar submission form: http://events.catholicnh.org/submitevent


Adjustment to Deanery Boundaries 

To: Deans

From: Patrick F. McGee, Sr.

Date: July 9, 2014

RE: Adjustment of Deanery Boundaries

Upon the request of Fr. Edmund Babicz, pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Sanbornville, and St. Joseph Parish, Center Ossipee, and after hearing from the Deans of the Lakes Region and Seacoast Deaneries, Bishop Libasci has realigned the boundaries of the Lakes Region and Seacoast Deaneries. Accordingly, St. Anthony Parish and St. Joseph Parish are now assigned to the Seacoast Deanery and are no longer assigned to the Lakes Region Deanery.

Fr. Babicz indicated that he believes he can participate in more activities in the Seacoast Deanery, especially in the winter months. In addition he believes the realignment would better serve the parishes in terms of events such as Advent and Lenten Penance Services. 

This realignment is effective July 1, 2014.

The parish boundaries for the two parishes will remain the same. They are:

Saint Anthony, Sanbornville, New Hampshire
The east border is the Maine state line
The west border lies along the borders of the parishes in Farmington and Alton/Wolfeboro
The south border is the parish of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Rochester
The north border is Saint Joseph Parish, Center Ossipee
The Parish includes the towns of Brookfield, Wakefield, Sanbornville, Middleton, Milton and Union

Parish Boundaries for Saint Joseph Parish, Center Ossipee, New Hampshire
The Parish includes the towns of Center Ossipee, Ossipee, Effingham, Freedom, Tamworth,
Madison, except the north end, the southern portion of Albany and the southwest corner of Eaton

Please feel free to share this information with the clergy and laity in your Deanery. We will publish the notice in eNews. Thank you.


Lawson Scam 

To: Pastors, Parish Administrators, Parish Secretaries, and Parish Bookkeepers 

From: Diane Murphy Quinlan

Date: July 10, 2014

RE: Cheryl Lawson (aka Jamey Edmonds, Cheryl McCarter-Wallis); Steven Lawson

In 2013, a woman who identified herself as “Jamey Edmonds” contacted a number of parishes (Catholic and non-Catholic) and requested money to pay her rent, claiming that her son was having surgery, her husband recently died, her vehicle was disabled, and she was about to be evicted for non-payment of rent. She seemed distraught when telling her story. She requested money for her rent and produced a copy of an obituary, a report from a hospital, and a copy of the lease. She asked that checks be made payable to the “landlady.” The parishes did not know her, as she was not from the area.

Unfortunately, some parishes gave this woman money and subsequently learned that they were “scammed.” In hindsight, the parishes realized that the obituary was not from a newspaper and the information in it could not be verified online, the “landlord” never returned the parish’s call, and the woman’s story changed slightly from the time she called the secretary and the time she picked up the check. The woman insisted that she needed the money that day, not giving the parishes much time to verify the information she provided. The woman subsequently was arrested and identified as Cheryl Lawson (see http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/8052939-95/police-manchester-woman-swindled-concord-church-with-fake-sob-story).

Since her arrest, she has continued to contact parishes, seeking money to pay her bills. In addition to Jamey Edmonds, she has used the name Cheryl Lawson and Cheryl McCarter-Wallis.

We recently learned that Steven Lawson (who reportedly is from the same family) has been asking for money from churches around the state. He has used different scenarios, but generally claims that his family is being evicted and is at risk of becoming homeless.

I thought that you should be aware of this concern in the event that you are contacted by these individuals. Feel free to contact me with any questions.


 

Gertrude Hammond Appointed as Diocesan Director of Parish Faith Formation

We are pleased to announce that Bishop Peter A. Libasci has appointed Gertrude Hammond as Diocesan Director of Parish Faith Formation, effective August 4, 2014. The Diocesan Director provides leadership and is responsible for the ongoing development and support of programs and services for Parish Faith Formation, Grades 1-12, including Sacramental Preparation for First Reconciliation and Penance, First Communion and Confirmation. The director is the lead agent in providing services and programs for DRE’s and other catechetical leaders and serves as a resource person to the Catholic Schools Office regarding the teaching of religion.

Gertrude worked in the finance field from 1987- 1993 and has served as catechetical leader at Saint Katharine Drexel Parish, Alton/Wolfeboro, since 2008. She completed the Lay Ministry Formation Program, Called to Servant Leadership, in 2011 and received a MEd, Religious Education from Boston College in 2013. Gertrude, her husband, Chris, and their three children are members of Saint Katharine Drexel Parish.

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester