Slideshow image

In the past and most recently, some members of Pacific have received emails that appeared to be from one of our pastors or even an elder and sometimes they come in the form of a text message. Pastors and other organizational leaders are often targets of phishing, a type of email scam. These emails appear to be from a trusted person, often with an urgent message with a request. Instead, they are from someone outside the organization trying to steal or gain access to information.

Here are some examples of recent phishing emails and/or texts: 

"Hello (Insert Name)... Do you have a moment. I have request I need you to do discreetly. I'm going into a meeting soon no calls just reply to my email - (Pastors Name)"  

"Hello (Insert Name) Are you less busy at the moment? I have a request for you to manage confidentially. I will be in a meeting in a few minutes, no calls so kindly respond via text. Blessings (Pastors Name)"

"Hello, I need you to update my new primary email address (insert false address) and send me a PDF copy of the directory. Have a great day! Thanks (Elders Name)"

So, what do you do if you receive a suspicious text or email like this, and how do you tell if an email is a phishing attack? See some tips below.


If you receive a message that feels odd in any way, take some time to think it through before responding. Scammers begin by building a rapport with you before asking for money, using phrases such as “I have a request I need you to handle discreetly”.


If the message is claiming to be from someone you know, contact that person by another means and ask them about it. Never use the details sent to you in the original message and ideally telephone them directly.


Train yourself to be alert to the reaction scammers want to elicit, often a tug on the heartstrings and a sense of urgent need. If a message on social media or email provokes an emotional response, that should trigger you to check.


It will often look similar to that of someone you know, but it won’t be exactly the same. If you click on the address for the full details, it’s often a good approximation, but it’s not actually the correct email address. If you receive a phishing email, mark the message as Spam. Doing so helps protect your account and others within your organization.


If you realise you have been defrauded, stop the communication immediately and contact your bank to stop any payments still pending. You should also report the incident to the police.

The pastors, staff and elders at Pacific will NEVER ask you to purchase something for them, especially gift cards. If you receive an email or text asking you to do that, it is false. Delete the message immediately. If you have been targeted by them and are unsure, or have fallen for such a devious device, we would like to know so please give us a call at the church or email