GRASS LAKE, MI [ROEA] -- On July 23, 2021, ROEA Chancellor David Oancea, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel, addressed a letter to the clergy and faithful of the Episcopate concerning recent phishing/spoof emails fraudulently sent in the name of Archbishop Nathaniel.
The scammer has sent emails to clergy and laypeople from a fake Gmail email address seeking a response, and then attempts to convince the person to purchase and send them gift cards in large amounts. THIS IS A SCAM. Archbishop Nathaniel does not use a Gmail address and never requests money by email.
The Chancery was made aware of this situation and is monitoring it. His Eminence has requested that our clergy make this situation known to their parishioners to help avoid anyone falling victim to this hoax.
It has since been learned that it appears the scammer has also attempted the same scheme in the name of other Orthodox bishops in North America.
Anyone who receives a suspicious email in the name of either Archbishop Nathaniel or Bishop Andrei is encouraged to contact the ROEA Chancery Office (firstname.lastname@example.org / 517-522-4800) to report it.
The full text of the letter is below:
NOTICE FROM ARCHBISHOP NATHANIEL TO CLERGY AND LAYPEOPLE OF THE ROEA
As the clergy and many laypersons of the Episcopate are aware, late last week/earlier this week, another hacker was posing as Archbishop Nathaniel, using a fake Gmail email address to trick recipients into responding by email. This hacker also attempts to convince recipients to buy gift cards for his use. THIS IS A SCAM.
Archbishop Nathaniel does not use a Gmail address (@gmail.com). His only email addresses are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes, scammers are even able to make it appear that the sender is one of those legitimate email addresses. Hover over the sender's email address with your mouse cursor or attempt to reply. If you see that a totally different email address is displayed, this means that the sender is spoofing you and the email should be reported (see below).
Also, His Eminence never requests money by email.
The Archbishop has directed all diocesan priests, or whomever they assign to send email communications to their parishes, to inform their parishioners immediately of this dangerous scam. This latest scam has reached not only clergy members but laypersons in the diocese. Our people need to be informed right away that this is a hoax and to be alert to such emails in the future.
If the phishing/spoof email was sent to a Gmail account, follow the following instructions to report it to Google:
Report a phishing email
On a computer, go to Gmail; Open the message; Next to Reply, click "More"; Click "Report phishing"
You can also report the abusive/phishing email here: https://support.google.com/mail/contact/abuse?hl=en
Finally, ALWAYS CONTACT THE ROEA CHANCERY OFFICE (email@example.com / 517-522-4800) IF YOU RECEIVE ANY SUSPICIOUS EMAIL,
Thank you! Yours in Christ,