As we know, there are some dishonest people in this world and they have decided to target churches for email scams. These scams are typically done in a format called “Phishing.” Unfortunately, our church is one of many being targeted.

Phishing occurs when a dishonest person imitates someone by using a fake email address. They’ll set up the from address so that at first glance, the email looks like it’s coming from “Rev Art Hancock” or another team member. If you click the email to expand, you’ll notice that the email does not match Phillip’s actual email address (rector (or Art)

Here are a few quick ways to spot a phishing email:

  • It’s from someone asking for a quick “favor” and they’re asking for no phone call to verify. Our team will always welcome your call, especially if a request seems odd.
  • The grammar is poor. Many times “phishers” are focused on trying to trick many people so they craft their messages quickly, leading to very obvious mistakes in their messages.
  • The sending email is not correct and does not match the team member’s actual email address. (The image here shows a phishing email imitating a Rev. Michael Singer – who was their Priest-in-Charge for a time, never Rector) Anything sent from St. John’s will have a address.

If you receive an email like the one described Please follow the steps below.

  1. DO NOT RESPOND – If you respond, this phisher will likely ask you to purchase gift cards or send money. Please never send gift card codes to anyone claiming to be a part of our staff. We will NOT ask you for them.
  2. FORWARD THE EMAIL TO US – Please let us know you’ve received the fraudulent email by forwarding it to us at so we may track who is receiving these fake messages.
  3. REPORT IT TO YOUR EMAIL PROVIDER: If you are using Gmail like in the image below, please click the three dots on the upper right of your screen for a drop-down menu that will allow you to “REPORT PHISHING.” Once several people report the sender will flag the sender’s account with Gmail and prompt them to block the fraudulent account from sending more fake emails out.

Thank you for your diligence in this matter! If you have any questions about Phishing or other digital scams, please reach out to Carrie Thomas, Parish Coordinator at