The scammers are at it again! Your UUCC staff has recently become aware of a new way that email scammers are trying to gain access to UUCC member information.

The scammers are creating fake Gmail accounts with this format: [name]uuccharlotte(at)gmail.com (example: lisauuccharlotte(at)gmail.com). These are not valid UUCC accounts; if you receive an email from an account with “[name]uuccharlotte” as the username (the portion of the address before the @), block and delete it immediately, and then please report it to UUCC staff. Do not reply to the email, as we will not receive the message.

Just to remind you, legitimate UUCC staff emails use this format: [name](at)uuccharlotte.org (example: lisa(at)uuccharlotte.org).

Information about previous email scams

You may have received an email purporting to be from Rev. Lisa or another member of UUCC staff asking you to respond immediately to some urgent matter. Please be warned that there is an email scam that uses a fake email address impersonating the minister or other staff to request membership information, urgent assistance with an unspecified task, and/or financial assistance – often in the form of gift cards. These messages are not generated by a HACKED email address or account, they use fake or SPOOFED email addresses. That means that there is nothing UUCC or any individual can directly do to stop this – a password or account change does not help.

If you receive a message that seems like a scam, here is what you can do to ensure that the scam does not spread further:

  • DO NOT reply to these messages.
  • REPORT the email as spam and BLOCK the sender.
  • If you aren’t sure and want to check the message’s veracity, call the UUCC office, or start a NEW email using the correct email address, and ask.
  • NEVER send gift card numbers or financial information via email or otherwise.

Many email programs like Gmail and Outlook automatically save new email addresses to your account, so you may need to go into your comments and confirm that you have the correct email address, deleting any others you have on file so that future emails don’t get lost to the scammers. Note that all UUCC staff emails follow the pattern of [firstname]@uuccharlotte.org. Also, UUCC staff members will never ask you to send gift cards or money in a way that does not align with our official pledge gift or contribution methods.

Links to more info about this type of scam:

https://www.cmu.edu/iso/news/2020/email-spoofing.html
https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/safety-resources/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/spoofing-and-phishing