IMPORTANT NOTICE : Cheque fraud and email scamming
It has come to our attention that some of our members have recently fallen prey to both cheque fraud and scam emails, both unfortunately involving the church. Sadly, there are many people who will take advantage for quick cash. The fact that it is illegal does not seem to bother them.
It appears that envelopes addressed to the church have been stolen and the enclosed cheques altered to a much larger amount and then cashed. Needless to say, none of the money arrives for the benefit of the church and if not caught in time, you are on the hook for the larger amount. When issuing a cheque, it is a good idea to draw a line in any open space before and after where the amount is spelled out, so that nothing can be added. Also, have some care where the envelope is mailed from, it is a good idea to deposit in a Canada Post mailbox which cannot be accessed by light-fingered thieves. If possible, it is a good idea to monitor your bank account on a regular basis to check when the cheque is deposited and also that the amount corresponds with your records. The church’s banking is done on a weekly basis, usually a day or two after the weekend.
You all know how much the Church depends on the generosity of its members especially in this Covid time. Luckily, we are planning on commencing church services again on September 13 and those of you planning on attending in person will again be able to contribute in person by way of the collection. Another alternative for those who are comfortable with electronic banking is to send money via e-transfer to email@example.com. (Read more here).
E-mail accounts being hacked is unfortunately almost a daily occurrence and the result is spam e-mails going out to everyone on your contact list. The often used language is that the writer needs you to do him/her a favour, or asking if you are free. If you receive an e-mail from any of your acquaintance that seem out of the ordinary, PLEASE DO NOT REPLY to it. If you do, the scammers have established contact with you and will quickly be in touch with you asking for money, often in i-Tunes gift cards. If you want to find out if an email is legitimate, ask the sender in a new mail, or send a text or call. That way, the person will also know that his/her email has been compromised. If the email contains instructions to “click here”, please don’t. That is a sure way to get in trouble. If your email is hacked, please change your password. It is a good idea to do this on a regular basis, and choose a password that is impossible to guess — at least 10 characters with a mixture of upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.
Most of us are now using email and other methods of communication, and it can be hard to stay ahead of the crooks. Please warn your friends and relatives of the dangers. It does not take long to create a new e-mail asking someone if they just send you an e-mail asking for a favour, and if they didn’t you will be glad you did not respond to to it.
/Sune Overgaard, chairman of the board