Wiscasset Police Department Chief Larry Hesseltine warned the public about a phishing scam that affects local churches.
In November and January, several parishioners from Wiscasset’s First Congregational Church received emails from someone claiming to be the church’s minister, Joshua Fitterling, Hesseltine told Wiscasset Newspaper in a phone interview Jan. 17. The email asked parishioners to buy gift cards, scratch off the card’s number and send a photo of the card’s number to the email sender.
The email claimed the minister was at a children’s hospital in Boston and urgently needed funds.
No parishioners from First Congregational were fooled, but a man from Boothbay Harbor’s Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church was taken in for $900, Hesseltine said.
Hesseltine said these scams come up from time to time. He reminded people to never to give money through the use of gift cards.