A series of email scams are making their way through the faith-based community, according to a news release from the Georgia Attorney General.

Parishioners of several Catholic churches are being targeted.

In one version of the fraud scheme, con artists send out emails purporting to be from the Pastor of the church asking for emergency donations to help someone in need. The email, which uses the Pastor’s name but a phony email address, instructs the recipient to provide the money by purchasing an iTunes gift card and mailing it to a different address.

“As cyber threats continue to evolve, we are making cybersecurity education for our small businesses, local governments, houses of worship and non-profits a priority,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Up to this point, this particular scam has been aimed at Catholic parishioners, but we believe others could be targeted in the same manor. Join us in helping raise awareness about this type of scheme to prevent well-meaning people from being conned out of their hard-earned money.”

If you have been a target of or have lost money in this scam, contact your local law enforcement agency or our Consumer Protection Unit at consumer.ga.gov or (404) 651-8600.

Recipients of these emails should forward them to the Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission’s spam database at spam@uce.gov and/or the organization being impersonated in the email so that they can warn their congregants.