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Phishers Hacked E-mail Account of Disciple United Methodist Church

According to the reports obtained from Oklahoma, scammers hijack e-mail account of Catoosa (Oklahoma)-based 'Disciple United Methodist Church' in attempts to dupe unsuspecting souls into handing out money, as reported by Newson6 on July 14, 2009.

The reports say that a fraudulent phishing e-mail sent to the different targets maliciously used the name of the Church's Pastor, P.J. Stewart.

The phishing e-mail's message body appears quite interesting. It states that Pastor Stewart, who is currently in the UK, has mistakenly left his wallet inside a taxi, therefore is penniless and in urgent need of $1,450.

The scammers through the hijacked account sent out 200 spurious electronic mails to all parishioners whose names were on the mailing list of the church.

Subsequent to the bulk scam messages, phone calls and text messages started coming to Pastor Stewart in which concerned parishioners enquired about the Pastor's problem, which however, made Pastor to realize that the actual problem was something else.

However, Pastor Stewart couldn't even inform his well-wishers that the news was false and a malicious scam was operating since the scammers managed to dissociate the members (parishioners) completely from the Church's electronic mail account. Consequently, the Pastor was forced to e-mail people from a different account.

While Pastor Stewart e-mailed the Church's members, the latter couldn't access their accounts implying that the accounts were still under the scammers' control who continued to spam them.

Recalling the incidences, which happened with Disciple Church, it appears that Disciple United got an e-mail claiming that it was a communication from its ISP, which enquired about passwords and other account information that the Church replied complete with all particulars. But the e-mail actually came from the scam artists to which the Church responded unwittingly thereby enabling the miscreants to hack the holy institution.

In fact, the event is a fine example of spammers and hackers victimizing a church through a phishing scam incident. Hence, security specialists advise people to avoid opening uninvited e-mails or peruse their contents before responding to them as they could be malicious.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

» SPAMfighter News - 8/6/2009

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