Don’t Get Snookered!

Con artists always are eager to take advantage of generous people. Fraud tactics to watch out for:

Gift cards: No one from the church, and no member of your family EVER will approach you by phone or email to ask you to purchase gift cards and send them the numbers. The church never has urgent cashflow or pastoral emergencies that require quick cash infusions, and never will appeal to you to make a send gift cards or other funding right away, or by phone or email.

Grandchildren in Trouble: If someone calls or emails you saying they’re your grandchild, niece, or nephew claiming to be in jail, stranded, or in debt, desperately needing your help with gift cards or a quick and secret infusion of cash, it’s fraud. They’ll tell you that they don’t sound like themselves because they’re ill or frightened, and beg you not to tell their parents or anyone else. Red flag.

Medicare: No legitimate medical, government, or financial professional EVER will ask you for your Medicare number by telephone or email. If someone asks you for that information, ask them to send you something in writing, but don’t give them your address. If it’s legitimate (and it’s not), they already have your address. does not offer billing accounts to customers. They accept credit card or electronic bank transfer payments only. If anyone tells you they’re calling because of a big charge on “your account,” it’s fraud. They don’t bill you. Ever.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves!

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