Consumer Corner: Watch Out For Imposters Posing As Religious Clergy Asking For Gift Cards
Scammers have been asking for money in the form of gift cards for some time now. Often, they’ve posed as grandchildren stuck in a foreign country, representatives from local utility companies, deputies from the local sheriff’s department or even the attorney general’s office. But a new angle on the gift card scam we’ve seen pop up is the scammers posing as a religious leader in the community asking for contributions to their charitable efforts in the form of a gift card.
Typically, these requests come in the form of an email that may appear to be legitimate on its face. However, be on alert for the usual warning signs for these types of phishing scams. Some of the telltale signs include the email domain being different than the one typically used by the church, spelling or grammatical mistakes in the body of the email – or even the minister’s name being spelled slightly wrong. Because it allows the scammer to more easily send the email to many recipients, the email will often simply contain a “hello” or “hi” rather than a more personal greeting that includes your name. All of these discrepancies should raise alarm bells inside your head when you receive an email asking for money or personal information.
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