Don't Let Scammers Take Advantage During Anxious Times

By Renee Ruchotzke

shaded person in a hood over computer code next to a virus image

You see an email or a text from your minister asking for a favor. You know they are busy, so you are happy to help! Could you buy some gift cards?


This scam is hitting hundreds of UU congregations. Ministers are heartbroken that bad actors are playing on the trust and good will of their congregants and exploiting it.

As concern about the pandemic is spreading, anxiety is higher. When we are anxious, our cognitive functioning and reason give way to functioning on auto-pilot, or even a mode of flight, fight or freeze.

Preemptive Pastoral Care

When your pastoral care team reaches out, especially to congregants who are at risk, be sure to remind them that the congregation's leadership will NEVER ask for money in a one-on-one manner.

Triangle road signs with red border and the word "scam"

Avoiding Scams

Because relationship, compassion and trust are all qualities that congregations are trying to cultivate, church members and staff can fall prey to bad actors and con artists.

More on Avoiding Scams

Man at a laptop with the word "security"

Phishing: Don't Take the Bait!

Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day. The best defense is to encourage your employees, volunteers and congregation members to pause and look for warning signs before responding to any unsolicited email.

More on Phishing

About the Author

Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) is a Congregational Life Consultant and program manager for Leadership Development.

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