Posted on Tuesday 6th July 2021
Last updated on Tuesday 28th December 2021 — See all updates
Several Church and community group members have made us aware of email or text messages, claiming to be either from Revd. Hannah Cleugh, the Right Revd. John Packer, or from Judith Coulson or Helen McDermott, the Churchwardens. These are fraudulent messages and have not been sent by these individuals. Please do not reply to these messages.
The initial message asks for a favour or if you are available at the moment and to respond as soon as you see the message. Once an individual responds, they are asked to purchase gift cards or other vouchers for a person in hospital.
If you have received one of these messages we would appreciate if you could send a screenshot of it to us either by email or social media. We also recommend blocking the mobile number or email address it was sent from.
There is a chance you may receive similar emails or messages from different mobile numbers, claiming to be from other members of clergy – these will also be fraudulent.
This scam has been running for some time and has been reported in many other Church of England Dioceses across the country. Action Fraud have been made aware of this case, as well as previous cases.
The sender takes great trouble both with identifying their chosen pseudo-sender and the intended targets (we think by trawling parish websites and magazines). In most cases, the sender has used un-traceable email addresses or texted from an equally untraceable pay-as-you-go (or ‘burner’) mobile phone.
First posted on Tuesday 6th July 2021
Last updated on Tuesday 28th December 2021
See all updates
- 28th December 2021
Updated after another batch of messages claiming to be from Revd. Hannah Cleugh
- 2nd November 2021
Updated after another batch of messages claiming to be from Judith Coulson and Helen McDermott
- 6th July 2021
First Published after a batch of messages claiming to be from Rt. Revd. John Packer