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There has been an increase in Phishing within our diocese and we have been asked to share this information with all parishioners. 

Phishing is defined as the practice of sending emails or other messages purporting to be from reputable companies or people in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers or to send e-transfers.  

Any email can be given a display name of the creators choosing. For example, anyone can set up an email for themselves and make it look like it comes from Anna van der Hooft in your inbox. The email they use may even be very similar to Anna’s which is Common phishing emails choices may be or 

These emails will sometimes request the purchase of gifts cards, e-transfers or simply begin with the request for a favour without being specific. If you receive a suspicious email, you should always check the email address it is coming from and take the following steps: 

  1. If the name of the person sending the email is someone you know and trust (like your incumbent or a fellow parishioner) but the email is different, you should forward the email to your parish administrator so they can warn the rest of the parish. You may then delete the email and block the sender. 
  1. If the name of the person sending the email is someone you know and trust, the email looks correct to you AND they are asking for money in some form, please still forward the email to your parish administrator. They will notify the synod office ASAP. This may be an example of hacking and further steps may need to be taken to protect the parish Microsoft 365 account. 

In summary, the church will never contact you asking for gift cards, credit card numbers or e-transfers of any kind. When in doubt, please always contact your parish administrator or incumbent.