The other day I received an email that seemed strange because it appeared to be from one of our pastors, but a) it was asking for money b) bad spelling and c) the email address was similar to the elder's but not exactly (changed one of the letters).


From: FirstName LastName [mailto:XXXXchosen1@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:45 AM
Cc: recipient list not shown:
Subject: URGENT MESSAGE.

Hello,
How are you doing ? hope all is well with you and family,i am sorry that i didn't inform you about my traveling to England for a seminal. I need your urgent help, I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and credit cards are kept. I urgently need a loan of $3,400 from you to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.
I will appreciate whatever you can afford and i'll pay you back as soon as i return.Let me know if you can send the money?so that I can get the details across to you soon.
Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
FirstName


I wouldn't have sent money anyway (the Lord delivered me of giving handouts long ago so even if I HAD it, I wouldn't have sent it) but what surprised me is that the email address XXXXchosen1@aol.com was VERY similar to this individual's real email. Only one letter was changed (m for an n) and if you weren't paying attention, I might have emailed this person to express sympathy for their situation, not realizing I wasn't REALLY emailing the person I thought.

This is similar to the scam with Elder Russell's email last year. I wish I still had that email so I could check and see if it was actually her email address or a close counterfeit. Either way, someone is either hacking into these accounts, or there's a very sophisticated scam-bot operating out there.

If you get this email (or the email/phone-call about someone whose car broke down and they're on the way to visit your church) it's a scam, so please do not pay! If you want to contact the person you think it's from, to make sure they're ok, please contact them by a way OTHER than email.