We love the technology that allows us to send out church emails, to develop teams and schedules, to
counsel and pray with one another, and to even to share a laugh. But all technology has limitations and
pitfalls! One of them is email fraud. Like the apostle Paul, who made sure he was in right relationship
with fellow Christians because he knew it was one of the schemes of the Enemy to divide the church (1
Cor. 2: 10-11), we also benefit by awareness of the ‘schemes’ going on around us.
Did you know between March 2020 and July 2020, there have been over 2,007 cases of fraud reported
in Canada? Sadly, this has impacted people in Ottawa, and even folks in our church. Recently, someone
created a fake email address (that looked very close to the real thing) and sent messages to various
people impersonating Pastor Mike! Apparently other churches in Canada have experienced this same
thing. That is why the staff and the elders at Cedarview are sending this message.
First, please know that our elders or staff will NEVER ask you to quickly send them money. In
these scams, someone may try to impersonate a pastor or a friend or a relative, saying that they
urgently need financial help or your personal information. They may impersonate a government
department or a bank and advise that you need to act quickly. It may seem very real – but do not do it or
click on any link that they provide in their email.
Please, if that happens, take a deep breath and do not act quickly. The tactic behind many of these
schemes is the element of hurry or panic, to keep you from thinking things through. Next, think of ways
you can verify if this email or text or message really did come from the claimed source. Look at the email
addresses involved – you may see that one is incorrect on closer inspection. Often if you make one short
email or phone call (to a different number or address than the one presented) to your friend, to the
church office, to a family member, you will be able establish whether or not the claim is true. Everyone
is willing to help, so there is no need to tackle it alone! No matter how comfortable you have become
with technology, both young and old have been impacted by these scams.
While we cannot prevent people from receiving fake messages (whether by phone call, text, or email)
we can reduce the risk:
1. Send out emails like this one when needed to make sure you are alert to the possibility of scams and
send links to resources that can help.
2. We are currently reviewing our security to see if there are any ways that we can reduce the exposure
of people at Cedarview to the type of fraud currently happening.
3. Be available for your questions. Never feel badly about double checking with someone else on staff or
an elder at Cedarview if you are wondering about the validity of a message you have received. We are
all committed to helping one another.
The following site is put together by the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the
Competition Bureau of Canada. It has much more information, including how you can protect yourself
In Him who has our ultimate security in His hands,
Pastor Mike, Staff, and Board of Elders