As you may be aware, some parishioners recently received email messages from an account impersonating Fr Mark asking them to buy online gift vouchers. Given the current climate, now more than ever is the time to be vigilant in regard to phishing emails. The rise in unemployment globally has increased the chances that more people might turn to cybercrime as another way to make money using software that is readily available on the internet, greatly increasing the chance of an attack.
Churches are a high target due to the volume of sensitive data we hold and due to the fact that they are aware of the level of trust people have in their parish priest, church volunteers and staff members. Phishing emails are one of the main methods hackers are currently using. A "phishing" email is an email that is made to look like a genuine message from someone (such as your parish priest) that is engineered to trick you into giving away money or revealing your passwords. The majority of phishing emails look like an official email asking the you to act on an instruction - such as asking you to buy gift cards or send money to them online.
Sometimes, scammers may ask you to click a link that takes you to what appears to be a genuine password reset page but once those credentials have been entered they are in the hackers hands. Once your credentials have been captured, within seconds the hackers software will have added your credentials to a list of other captured credentials then attempt to access as many other services as possible with that username and password to see which are accessible. Be wary of any website or service that asks for your credentials. Check the web address is genuine for the service you are connecting to.
If you get an email that doesn’t look right or are unsure about something, please get in touch and the parish will investigate. Remember, no one would ever need to know your passwords or ask you to buy vast quantities of online gift cards. If someone is requesting them, it’s likely to be a scam.
Aaron (Online Content Manager)
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