Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that the cybercriminals are back at it phishing and spamming parishioners from area churches, including St. Mary’s. These criminals pose as clergy and ask for money or information. Please note, at this time of year, St. Mary’s does ask parishioners to support the church or an outreach activity; however, St. Mary’s clergy and staff would never email a parishioner using a personal email and ask for money or personal information.
- Please always look at the email address to verify that it is legitimate. If you think it isn’t, don’t open it!
- Please also note that St. Mary’s and our clergy have filed a report with the FBI Cybercrime unit in the past, and are prepared to do so again if necessary.
The following instructions are from Google regarding spam, spoofed email addresses, and phishing scams. If you use something other than a Gmail account, your email provider should have somewhat similar instructions (you may want to confirm with them what their mechanisms are for scam/phishing reporting).
SPOOFED EMAIL ADDRESSES:
What this warning means: An email address looks confusingly similar to the email address of a known sender. For example, the email address may replace the letter “O” with the number “0.” What to do if you see this warning: Don’t reply to the email or open any links until you can verify that the email address is correct. If you happen to notice a spoofed email address, but it’s not marked with a warning, be sure to report it as SPAM … without opening the message, drag it to your Spam Folder and it reports the email to Google. You can report abusive Gmail to Google at this link: https://support.google.com/mail/contact/abuse
What this warning means: The email may be trying to trick you into sharing personal information, like passwords or credit card numbers. What to do if you see this warning: Don’t reply to the email or open any links. If you happen to notice a phishing attempt, but it’s not marked with a warning, be sure to report it as Phishing … without opening the message, drag it to your Spam Folder and it reports the email to Google.
For those opening their mail on a computer, you could try changing your settings to PREVIEW PANE so that you can preview a message before you ever open it, and then you’d see that is was a bogus message.
For those who use an iPad, you could try going to MAIL and then click on ALL INBOXES. Then with your finger, slide one of these bogus messages to the LEFT. where you will see three choices: More, Flag and Trash. Click on MORE and you should see “Move Message” and then choose JUNK folder. If you have questions about this procedure, you could contact AppleCare Products online.
The items above are just some helpful tips to try to help you be aware of scams and phishing attempts. Unfortunately, the folks who do these types of things are getting more creative.