Q: How can I tell when these messages are fake?
A: Our Bishop and other conference leaders would never personally send e-mail requests to directly send them monetary donations in any form, not even in an emergency. Legitimate donation requests would only be communicated publicly through our conference media platforms.
Q: Why does the Conference Leadership’s email keep getting hacked?
A: It doesn’t. These scam e-mails (or “phishing” attempts) circulate around the disreputable realms of the internet. They are spoofing attempts and are not sent from our EPAUMC email accounts. See below.
Q: What is phishing?
A: According to this website, “Phishing is a crime in which identity thieves attempt to elicit sensitive, personal information from you by masquerading as a trustworthy source in electronic communication.” These e-mails may come from someone who appears to be a bishop, your pastor, a family member, etc.
Q: Has my personal information been compromised?
A: Receiving these messages does not mean your private information has been compromised. Just be sure you do NOT reply or respond in any manner. Never click on links or open attachments when you receive any suspicious email.
Q: What can I do to take action?
- A: Report scams to your email provider immediately (it’s easy).
- B: Report scams to the FBI.
- Click on “Submit an Internet crime complaint with the IC3.”
- Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams
- FBI general information: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/on-the-internet