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How to Avoid Email Scams | A Message From Pastor Heather

If You Receive An Email from a Pastor Asking for Money…

Impersonating pastors and sending emails asking for money is one of the internet’s most frequent scams. This scam preys on the good intentions of church congregations and our willingness to be generous. Pastor Alexa and I want to make sure no one from FUMCO is a victim of this crime so here are some basic guidelines in dealing with an email asking for money (or gift cards) that is sent in the name of your pastors.

  1. Check the email address. Pastor Alexa and I will only communicate with you using our official church email addresses. If the email comes from a different address, it is not from us.
  2. We will not ask for money or gift cards directly in an email. You might receive an email about stewardship, church finances, etc but we will never ask that you give us money or gift cards. Any money or gift cards should ALWAYS go through the official church channels.  
  3. When in doubt, follow-up with a phone call to the office BEFORE giving or sending any money or even replying to the email.  
  4. Report the email as spam. These emails are not hacks from our email accounts and so we cannot report them. They are spam, impersonating us so they need to be reported from the email addresses that are receiving them.

Steps we are taking to minimize this scam. We take this very seriously and don’t want anyone to be a victim of this fraud. We are taking the following steps:

  1. We are looking into no longer listing our email addresses on the website and instead having a “Click Here” button to send emails. This does cause some problems with e-readers or people who have to give verbal instructions to their device. We will continue our research. 
  2. We will not share Zoom links on the website or The Courier. We will offer a CLICK HERE button for these as well. 
  3. When we find out we have been impersonated we will put a notice on Facebook.

Thank you for taking the time to read emails from your Pastors! We value our communication with all of you and pray that no one will fall victim to pastor impersonation.

Grace,
Pastor Heather

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