SCAM ALERT: Carr Warns of Email Scam Targeting Faith-Based Communities

June 28, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - The Office of the Attorney General has learned of an email scam targeting parishioners of several Catholic churches in Georgia.

“As cyber threats continue to evolve, we are making cybersecurity education for our small businesses, local governments, houses of worship and non-profits a priority,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Up to this point, this particular scam has been aimed at Catholic parishioners, but we believe others could be targeted in the same manner. Join us in helping raise awareness about this type of scheme to prevent well-meaning people from being conned out of their hard-earned money.”

In one version of this imposter fraud scheme, con artists send out emails purporting to be from the Pastor of the church asking for emergency donations to help someone in need. The email, which uses the Pastor’s name but a phony email address, instructs the recipient to provide the money by purchasing an iTunes gift card and mailing it to a different address.

If you have been a target of or have lost money in this scam, contact your local law enforcement agency or our Consumer Protection Unit at consumer.ga.gov or (404) 651-8600.

Recipients of these emails should forward them to our office, the Federal Trade Commission’s spam database at spam@uce.gov and/or the organization being impersonated in the email so that they can warn their congregants.