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Scam Alert – January 2023

The office has heard from some congregations that there is a new SCAM/SPAM approach. A person calls the office claiming to be a staff member or a congregation member and asks for a directory. Then, within a few days, members start receiving calls or emails to scam you for gift cards or money.

Please take reasonable precautions to prevent this tactic from happening in your congregation.

Please also be on the lookout for email SCAM/SPAM. Below is information from a previous approach THAT MAY ALSO BE USED IN THIS SITUATION.

Some folks are receiving emails claiming to be from Bishop Aebischer asking the recipients to “perform some tasks.” These emails are NOT from Bishop Aebischer.


Bishop Aebischer will always state a purpose of an email. If you receive one of these emails please let Neal ( at the synod office know.


Often spammers use free email services (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) to pretend to be someone they are not. Some of the tricks they use the person’s name, in this case Bishop Aebischer, in the name field. However, if you look at the email address of this email you’ll see that it is a randomized name in front of Another that happens is spammer will put the real email address as the name to try to trick you. In the example above it might read —

Bishop Aebischer only uses

In the meantime, please report these emails to Google here:


Religious groups have become easy targets for these types of scams, which take advantage of people’s generosity, and ELCA synods and congregations across the country have seen an marked increase in such attempts over the past few years.

As always, do not click on a link, send money or gift cards, or provide checking account or credit card information in response to ANY emailed solicitation without checking with a trusted source.

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Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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