News and Views

What you need to know about fake e-mails from Conference Leaders

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Q: How can I tell when these messages are fake?
A: Bishop Easterling and other conference leaders would never, ever, e-mail you and ask for monetary donations, gift cards, etc., even in an emergency. Legitimate donation requests would be communicated via the Baltimore-Washington Conference website, in our weekly newsletter, the “e-connection,” and on our BWC social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube).

Q: Why does the Conference Leadership’s email keep getting hacked?
A: It doesn’t. These scam e-mails (or “phishing” attempts) are typically sent from regular email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo etc. They are not sent from BWC email accounts. See activity list below.

Q: What is phishing?
According to this website, “Phishing is a crime in which identity thieves attempt to elicit sensitive, personal information from you by masquerading as a trustworthy source in electronic communication.” These e-mails may come from someone who appears to be a bishop, your pastor, a family member, etc.

Q: Has my personal information been compromised?
Receiving these messages does not mean your private information has been compromised. Just be sure you do NOT reply or respond in any manner. Never click on links or open attachments when you receive any suspicious email.

Q: What can I do to take action?

Phishing activity reported:
The list below shows just 18 months of reported email phishing activity. Note that scammers change the "From" name, but the email address is not a conference email address. Over 95% try to impersonate the Bishop and ask that gift cards be purchased ASAP to support a worthy cause. Their goal is to get you to send them (via text message or email) the gift card number(s) and activation code(s). Sending malicious links is less common, but clicking those links can result in significant financial losses from identity theft. Do NOT respond to (or click the links in) ANY suspicious email (or text message).

  • Real Phishing Emails reported by BWC members:
    • 08/29/22: Latrelle Easterling <ahmed_mahmoud@> (Malicious Link)
    • 08/26/22: Bishop. Latrelle Easterling <churchpastor780@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 07/26/22: BISHOP LATRELLE EASTERLING <excutivedriector131@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 07/24/22: Gerry Green <gerardgreen.bwcumc@ gmail. com>, Johnsie Cogman <jcogman.bwcumc@ gmail. com> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 06/18/22: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling <bishoplatrelle35@> or <revlatrelle@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 05/06/21: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling <bishoplatrelleeasterling35@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 04/29/21: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling <easterlingbishoplatrelle@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 04/22/21: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling <> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 04/08/21: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling <bishoppeasterlingbwcumc@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 04/07/21: Kelley Twilley <no-reply@> (Malicious File-same as 2/22/21 attempt)
    • 04/02/21: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling <officemail9503@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 03/09/21: Bishop Easterling <officeonline12070@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 03/09/21: Rebecca Iannicelli <officeonline23578@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 03/02/21: Rock Retreat <praktikant-fbkomm@> (Malicious File/Link)
    • 02/22/21: Kelley Twilley <no-reply@> (Malicious file/Link)
    • 02/05/21: Bishop Easterling <bishopeastering@> (Gift Card Scam)
    • 02/04/21: Bishop Easterling <bwcum@> (Gift Card Scam)

Additional Resources: 
Federal Trade Commission: 
FBI general information:
Anti Phishing Working Group: APWG | Report Phishing