LANSING, Mich. | October 10, 2019 — We have become aware of an email scam that is targeting United Methodists in specific congregations across the U.S. In most cases, a new email address is being created in the pastor’s name and directed to members of his or her congregation. These fake emails typically ask for money in the form of a gift card.
This email scam has hit multiple United Methodist congregations in Michigan and within other conferences, as well.
Congregations should be warned to be very careful on how they reply to such an email. We recommend that all pastors send a message to all their congregants at this time. Pastors should instruct church members to read their emails carefully and know that the church will NEVER send an appeal for money or gift cards by email. If a congregant receives a suspicious email they should always check with the pastor or church office by phone or in person before sending money, buying gift cards, or providing personal information.
Our IT Specialist, Michael Mayo-Moyle, has created a document that you may find helpful. Please use this resource as a reference guide for your church to handle email security issues. As The Michigan Conference continues to investigate this issue, we will keep you informed and notify you of any new information.
CLICK HERE to download the Resource Guide.