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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issues 2022/23 warning about gift card scam targeting worshipers

    12.01.22 | Articles, General | by Don Treglown

    Scammers pretending to be pastors, church leaders, and even members are asking people to buy gift cards to support Faith Lutheran Church or to help the individual immediately.  The scammer then requests the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card, which allows the imposter to immediately get the money loaded onto the card.

    In a 2022 AARP survey, 1 in 3 adults said they or someone they know had been asked at some point to purchase a gift card to pay a bill, fee, or some other debt or obligation or to claim a prize.  About one in four adults who were contacted reported they bought the cards, or approximately 13 million U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

    Signs to watch for

    1. You are directed to buy one or more gift cards – often referred to as “electronic vouchers” – as a quick means of making payment.
    2. You are told to share the numbers on the back of the gift cards, by reading them off or sending a 

    picture.

    1. The request comes from someone you wouldn’t expect to ask for money this way

    The Executive Board of Faith Lutheran Church wants  to help you avoid falling for these kinds of scams:

    Communicate:  We want you to know about these scams and how they work (activity of these scams increase after natural disasters and as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas).  None of the Pastors, Church Leaders, or members would ever ask members to buy gift cards in this manner.

    Verify:  If you receive one of these messages asking for gift cards, you should check with the Faith Lutheran Church Office to help determine whether the request is legitimate. 

    Alert: If you appear to be receiving scam emails from Faith Lutheran Church, Naples, FL or its representatives please let the church office know immediately.

    As you may know, one of my favorite Bible Verses is:  “Jesus said:  “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  Mathew 10:16

    Pastor Don Treglown

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