We have received the following from the Diocese which is a very relevant warning as members of our congregation have been targeted, fortunately without falling prey to the fraudsters:
‘Please can I remind you all again that parishes are constantly being targeted by scammers either for cash transfers or Amazon vouchers (see example below). Parish websites often provide the names of clergy and parish officers as well as email addresses. It is then quite simple for the scammer to email the warden, or the youth-worker from a fictitious vicar@gmail account with a request for funds. Please make sure that everyone on your PCC is aware of these risks and encourage them to question the validity of such emails. Consider who else the scammers can link to you via the parish website, and ensure they are aware of the danger of falling victim to these emails, too.’
I may say that I will never ask for financial assistance from any member of the congregation, so if you get an email purporting to be from me then it is certainly a fraud.