Email-based scams might become more common, especially during the holidays. Some of our clergy and local churches, as well as those of other conferences, continue to be the victim of malicious online activity.
The following are good practices to follow for churches as well as individuals:
- Consistency of Communications – It might be helpful for church-based emails on giving to be consistent in design and language that allows members and other individuals to experience those aspects as references for authenticity.
- Language – A malicious email might be written in language inconsistent with that commonly used by the church or clergyperson.
- From – Check the source of the email. Sometimes, the email displays a legitimate email address name (sometimes in quotes). But, closer inspection might reveal that the display is inconsistent with the actual address (sometimes in < >).
- Requests – Disregard common phishing messages from email addresses of pastors asking for “a favor,” “to be discrete,” and, to “not call, email only.”
- Confirm – If the email looks suspicious at all, it might be helpful to confirm through a means other than replying to that email (ie. phone call, text message).