WATCH FOR UNSAFE EMAIL
Be alert for the iTunes Gift Card Scam!
The hoax we told you about a few months ago seems to be making its way through the archdiocese again. Several parishes contacted us this week to ask if there is a way to prevent these bogus emails from going out to their staff and parishioners. Unfortunately, there is not. The best defense is to educate your people!
If you are not familiar with this scam, it starts with the fraudsters creating a fake Gmail account that appears to come from your pastor. The body of the message usually indicates that the pastor “needs your help” and directs the reader to contact him right away. The next message then asks you to purchase iTunes cards for someone he is trying to help.
The scammers are even personalizing each message with the recipient’s name so it appears as legitimate as possible. We believe they are using software to look through your websites and bulletin files to collect names, emails and phone numbers. We urge caution with how much personal information you put online.
Be cautious of email messages asking to verify your credentials.
Another hoax message that we saw this week asked the recipients to verify their email address. This type of request lures you into giving away your username and password or delivering malware to your system as soon as you click the button or link.
People keep sending these messages because they are making a lot of money. Please remind your staff, parishioners and school families, to be vigilant in looking for suspicious messages.