As we move quickly towards the end of 2023 my prayer is for everyone to be safe. We will no doubt use this time to be with friends and family. Please be intentional and enjoy every moment; tomorrow is promised no one.
I want to share as a teachable moment something which I experienced recently. About two weeks, ago I received a call from someone about a proposed Zoom meeting. It was from a number I did not recognize (mistake number one.) But as a person somewhat in public service and with many persons having access to my personal cell, it didn’t seem too much out of the ordinary. What was out of the ordinary was the person on the other line saying a code was sent to me and to please share (mistake number two.) This was apparently used to access my WhatsApp platform. And, using that, attempted to approach my contacts for favors (aka, money!)
So as a precautionary tale, please be careful – especially at this time of year, when seemingly hackers and scammers abound even more. If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, let them leave a message. And whatever you do, never repeat a code sent to you by text. (In fact, lots of times the business sending you a legitimate code says, “Please don’t share with anyone.”) I’ve since changed my number and as far as I know, no one was affected by this breach. But it was very aggravating and embarrassing, to say the least.
At the same time I hope and pray this does not discourage you from generously supporting charities which do great good. The Rescue Mission of Trenton, Urban Promise, Angel Tree and Episcopal Community Services, are but a few.
May you and yours have a blessed Christmas and a blessed New Year 2024.
Your Friend and Dean,
The Very Rev. René R. John