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Fraudsters Disguised as Priest Target Alberta Parishioners in Email Phishing Scam


Catholic Church officials issued a warning against an email phishing scam, which has targeted the parishioners of Alberta. The fraudsters who are pretending to be bishops or priests are sending spam emails to the staffs of the church along with parishioners throughout Canada. The aim of these fraudsters is to gather free e-gift cards which are pre-loaded with cash. As per the public advisory post on the website of Edmonton Archdiocese, the parishioners of Catholic churches as well as institutions are being targeted for weeks now.


"Typically, a false email from a priest, church official or supervisor is sent asking for electronic gift cards to be sent to another address, so that they may be given to someone in need or used for a fundraising event," as per the advisory titled "That's not your priest asking for gift cards!".


Several dioceses have reported about the scam previously, and also there are various reports of the parishioners losing money through this scam, which includes the archdioceses of Edmonton and Calgary.


Chief Communications Officer of Edmonton Archdiocese, Lorraine Turchansky, also agreed of the fact that there was a couple of parishioners who fell prey to the email phishing scam. He also added that the parishioners have lost $800 in this scam. Both of these parishioners were under the impression that it was the priest who was asking for the money, and hence they thought to help.


Director of Communications, Calgary Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Nadia Hinds, said that the scam was initially originated from Southern Alberta at All Saints Roman Catholic Parish of Lethbridge. There were several parishioners who were targeted by the fraudsters with fake emails giving the impression that the emails were from their priest. Hinds also added that at least one of the members belonging to the congregation has fallen prey to the scam.


Calgary's Catholic Pastoral Centre staffs also have been targeted with a fake email which presumes to be from the bishop of their church.


Lorraine Turchansky further said that those who have fallen prey to the email phishing scam and have purchased the electronic cards should immediately opt for cancelling it and should file a report of theft with the police.

» SPAMfighter News - 8/24/2018

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