Phishing Alert! Scammer Targeting UUSM Members!

(Originally published in July and September, 2019 and June 2, 2020. Updated and republished today due to recent renewed malicious emails representing themselves as from Rev. Jeremiah.)

Several times in the last couple of years, a scammer (or scammers) NOT associated with the church has sent out emails from a gmail.com address that looked like it belonged to our minister, president, or administrator but was NOT associated any of them, or with the church in any way. The email asks for financial or other unspecified assistance and encourages a discreet response or asks people to send money or gift cards to the person who sent the original note.

The scam has now popped up again, this time using Rev. Jeremiah’s name and the return addresses leadpastor97@gmail.com and churchonline131@gmail.com.

Please note that these addresses do NOT belong to Rev. Jeremiah, and the mail is not from him.

Today’s note has the subject line “URGENT” and says:

Hi,
Get back to me as soon as you receive my message, I need you to handle something for me, I can’t talk on the phone at the moment, Just reply to me on here.
Blessings, Rev Jeremiah Kalendae

Another recent message read:

“Do you have a moment. I have a request I need you to handle discreetly. I’m a little busy at the moment, no calls so just reply my email. Thanks”

Please note that THIS MESSAGE IS NOT FROM ANYONE AT UUSM…AND THE ADDRESS DOES NOT BELONG TO THE CHURCH. All official UUSM correspondence these days comes from addresses ending in @uusm.org, NOT from anything at gmail.com

If you receive one of the scam emails, please do NOT click on anything in it, do NOT reply to the email, and do NOT send any money to the person who sent the email.

For more on phishing scams and how you can recognize them, see phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/

Finally, if you use Gmail and have received an email from the address shown above above, or from any other address that looks like it’s from the church but ends in @gmail.com and not @uusm.org, please report it to Google by following these steps:

  1. Open your Gmail inbox and click to open the phishing message.
  2. Click or tap the three-dot “More” menu next to the Reply button.
  3. Click or tap “Report phishing” to open the pop-up window, then click “Report phishing.” The message is forwarded to the Gmail Team.

Also, users of any email program can report the emails to the federal government by forwarding the messages to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org and reporting it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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