Rev. Dan Lepley of Our Shepherd, Avon was “hit” with a phishing scam and sent us the notice he sent to his congregation on how to be be prepared for these. Please read the following and consider preparing your congregation and e-mail friends for such events.
A new version of an old phishing scam is circulating, in which church members get an email or text message from their pastor/minister/priest requesting them to donate gift cards. Pastor Lepley has been the target of such a phishing scam. Please do not open or click on any links from any email address from pastors or church staff which does not contain their first initial and last name followed by @ourshepherd.org. Recent addresses used are very closely related to our organization’s email, e.g., email@example.com. Additionally, each church staff member has an email signature card embedded in their messages. In response to this event, all teachers will also use a similar signature card beginning next school year.
We feel it is our responsibility to inform you of this and further educate you on the subject if you are unfamiliar. There are a number of articles written on the topic.
Pastor Lepley, church staff, and school staff will never reach out to you via email request soliciting funds. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or have been targeted, please reach out to the church office, firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Lepley directly, email@example.com.
In a world where some things change and others stay the same, this is simply a new way thieves are trying to steal from faithful and generously minded church members. It’s also an attempt to use the good relationship and reputation of a pastor or church worker for nefarious purposes. Please be careful. Also, pray for the conversion of the people behind such scams who are not only hurting their victims, but causing great spiritual harm to themselves.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.” 2 Corinthians 5:10-11