Fraudsters are using the name of one of Tyneside’s most senior clergymen in a bid to con church-goers out of cash.
St Nicholas’ Cathedral, in Newcastle, has today issued an urgent warning after staff became aware of dodgy messages circulating via email, text and social media.
The correspondence claims to be from The Very Revd Geoff Miller, who is Dean of Newcastle.
And they are asking recipients to transfer money.
A spokeswoman for St Nicholas’ Cathedral said: “To all our friends, there are some bogus and fraudulent communications currently circulating via email, text message and social media purporting to be from The Very Revd Geoff Miller asking for money.
“All these communications are entirely fake and have not been sent from the Dean of Newcastle nor anyone at Newcastle Cathedral.
“Cathedral clergy and staff will never ask you to transfer money from your bank account nor will they accept personal cash gifts under any circumstances. Please be vigilant and do not respond to the messages.”
Det Sgt Peter Booth, of Northumbria Police’s cyber crime team, has today also advised people to be wary of unexpected messages and to trust their instincts if something seems suspicious.
“We would always ask you remain vigilant when opening letters, emails and unsolicited correspondence,” he said.
“We would advise anyone with concerns to trust their instincts – if something does not seem right, it probably isn’t. If you have received an email or been affected by this incident, please contact Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040.
“More information about fraud, scams and crime prevention can be found here on Northumbria Police’s website under ‘Advice and Information’.”