CHICAGO, IL (October 5, 2010) – A bogus email purporting to come from Evangelical Covenant Church President Gary Walter was making the rounds early Tuesday, claiming Walter was robbed at gunpoint while visiting London and asking email recipients to respond with offers of help.
The fraudulent email came from Walter’s personal email address, not his work email account, which was not compromised. A similarly worded email purporting to come from Walter’s wife also was making the rounds.
Unlike some other fraudulent emails that have suggested wiring funds directly, this bogus message simply asks the recipient to send an email back. Those familiar with these scams say that once an individual responds to a fraudulent email like this, the sender then conveys more detailed directions for transferring funds. Recipients should not respond to the fraudulent Walter email.
Those working with email security recommend a few general precautions, including installing anti-virus software and keeping it updated, creating complex passwords and avoiding use of birth dates or other information easily obtained from public records, and not opening any emails – and in particular attachments – that come from unrecognized sources.