DUXBURY (CBS) — Police are warning residents that someone is trying to scam people with a fake church email address. The Gmail address makes it look as though the email is coming from Reverend Mally Lloyd of St. John the Evangelist Church in Duxbury.
“You have these cyber criminals who are reaching out and trying to take advantage of that from the folks that are going to be willing to give,” explained Police Dep. Stephen McDonald.
In emails sent to parishioners, the person demanded money and “gift cards to go towards fighting cancer,” police said.
Lloyd caught on to the scam when she began receiving emails about gift cards and alerted police. “I think people trust their church and they trust their pastor and they also want to help, most people want to help people with cancer and so when somebody scams them by pretending to raise money for cancer patients it breaches that trust and it’s infuriating,” she said.
The holiday season is often when these scams come up, according to police.
“They do what’s called social engineering. They take advantage of our reactions to these social media posts and emails and things like that that we get. They always have a sense of urgency attached to it,” said McDonald.
Anyone who has been a victim of the scam should file a report with Duxbury Police by calling 781-934-5656.