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Around The Grange
From the State Secretary: Scammers Target State Grange Members

By Todd A. Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  December 6, 2022 --

The Holiday Season has arrived, and along with it, you may find many SPAM or  Junk  messages in your email inbox. This is the time of year when spammers try to take advantage of  recipients by faking out email messages to unsuspecting people by using a name they recognize as the sender. These messages are often asking for something, such as gift cards, credit card information or money. These type of messages are called “phishing scams.”

We recently have been aware that this type of unexpected spam message has been sent to Grangers as  if  they  were  from CT State Grange President Robert Buck. This email was sent out using an email address from a Gmail account that starts with PresidentGrange101. Emails coming from the State Grange official email  server  end in ctstategrange.org. Some of our officers choose to use personal email accounts as well so we can’t necessarily tell you to ignore emails from other servers. We can, however, warn you to be careful when receiving unexpected emails that ask you to do unexpected or unusual things.

The email in question said the following:

“Hello, Are you less busy at the moment?  I got a request for you to manage discreetly.  I will be going into a meeting shortly, please no calls  so  kindly  respond  back  via email.” The email is then signed in the name of Robert Buck, President.  Red  flag  #1: It’s  a  generic message  that  doesn’t  specifically address the recipient.

Red flag #2: The message is poorly worded. I’m pretty sure Rob wouldn’t write “I got a request…”

Red flag #3: They tell  you they are going into a meeting so please don’t call.  They don’t want

you to contact the person they are pretending to be as they will be exposed. If you respond by email, the masquerade will continue.

It would be a very rare instance where an officer of the State Grange (i.e. State President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc. would ask members to purchase things on behalf of them or the State Grange). Purchases like this can be made using a State Grange issued credit card. We would not have a need for members to “front” the money for such a thing.

We want to warn you that these messages are FAKE, they are a scam - and they did not come from Bob’s email address (they just used his name in the sender field). This is an email impersonation. DO NOT click any links or reply to such messages. Delete these emails immediately!

A few steps you can take to verify if an email is real or fake:

-- Check the email address the message is sent from. Do not go by the name in the sender field.

-- Call the person to confirm that they sent the message. Do not use a number that may be in the email, as  that  number  may  be  fake  as

well - use a valid source to find the person’s real phone number, then check with them if they actually sent you a message or not.

-- Ask yourself when reading the message if the request is viable. Why would this person ask you to purchase something such as Gift Cards when this is not their normal protocol?

-- Talk to another trusted Granger - such as Todd Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary (secretary@ctstategrange.org) or Public Relations Co-Director Terri Fassio (information@ctstategrange.org ). Tell them the situation and see what they would do.


The Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alerts has an article specifically about this type  of scam -- https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2021/09/your-boss-isnt-emailing-you-about-gift-card

The moral of this story is to be more suspicious of emails similar to the one above, especially when you are asked to part with your own hard-earned money. If you received one of these SPAM messages, just delete the message.



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