Numerous people recently have let the Presbytery of Lake Michigan staff know they received suspicious emails that appear to be coming from the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence, Executive Presbyter/ Stated Clerk.
PLEASE be diligent in examining all emails to ensure they are authentic and not an attempt to get money or information.
In this case, the hackers are using an address that is very similar to the one used by Fran BUT it is not her address. Any email communications from Fran will come from either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT respond to any email that seems to be signed by Fran but uses a different email address.
The use of a different, but very similar address, to get someone to respond to an email or click on malicious attachments – also known as “phishing” – is just one fraudulent practice that hackers will use to trick people into giving up data.
If something seems fishy, it probably is. Here are some tips to remember in an effort to avoid falling victim to hackers and protect our presbytery and its data:
- Double check that the sender’s email address matches who they claim to be.
- Don’t click a link or download a file that comes from someone you don’t know or that you were not expecting.
- Don’t reply to a suspicious email or message from an email address that you don’t recognize. If you’re not sure, call the presbytery office – or the individual – to verify whether the email is legitimate.
- No one from the presbytery office or staff will ever ask you to purchase gift cards or send money to a third party.