Reminder to Beware of Scammers Impersonating Church Staff

Dear ones,

Once again, a scammer has made a fake email account pretending to be Rev. Margret and is emailing congregants asking for assistance and a reply. Please do not respond to these emails. The only email addresses that Rev. Margret will EVER be emailing from are either minister@uucch.org, revmargretuucch@gmail.com, or maoneall@gmail.com.

Please always check the sender’s email address. 

The church’s computers and email accounts are secure; we have not been “hacked.” There is nothing we can do to stop scammers from making up fake email addresses and finding your email information online. Scammers will often scan websites looking for individual’s contact information to target. If you received one of these emails, it is likely because your email address has been listed in one of UUCCH’s online communications. As long as you do not respond to these emails, click any hyperlinks or open file attachments, your information and email account remain secure.

In the future, some common features of a phishing scam include:

  1. Too Good To Be True  Lucrative offers and eye-catching or attention-grabbing statements are designed to attract people’s attention immediately. For instance, many claim that you have won an iPhone, a lottery, or some other lavish prize. Just don’t click on any suspicious emails. Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
  2. Sense of Urgency – A favorite tactic among cybercriminals is to ask you to act fast because the super deals are only for a limited time. Some of them will even tell you that you have only a few minutes to respond. When you come across these kinds of emails, it’s best to just ignore them. Sometimes, they will tell you that your account will be suspended unless you update your personal details immediately. Most reliable organizations give ample time before they terminate an account and they never ask patrons to update personal details over the Internet. When in doubt, visit the source directly rather than clicking a link in an email.
  3. Hyperlinks – A link may not be all it appears to be. Hovering over a link shows you the actual URL where you will be directed upon clicking on it. It could be completely different or it could be a popular website with a misspelling, for instance www.bankofarnerica.com – the ‘m’ is actually an ‘r’ and an ‘n’, so look carefully.
  4. Attachments – If you see an attachment in an email you weren’t expecting or that doesn’t make sense, don’t open it! They often contain payloads like ransomware or other viruses. The only file type that is always safe to click on is a .txt file.
  5. Unusual Sender  Whether it looks like it’s from someone you don’t know or someone you do know, if anything seems out of the ordinary, unexpected, out of character or just suspicious in general don’t click on it!

Be well,

The Staff of UUCCH

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