The Conference Office has been made aware of an e-mail scam that is making its way around the local churches of the conference (in fact, we received such an e-mail in our office). In the e-mail, someone purporting to be a known official (usually the pastor) asks the treasurer to wire thousands of dollars to an account in an obscure bank for a mission emergency. The e-mail is cleverly designed and looks legitimate. They use all the right language that we would use in our church context.
In the first place, a church should never be wiring money directly to a mission or missionary. That is what our General Board of Global Ministries is for. Please use the official channels of the Advance Specials that are pre-approved and audited. 100% of your mission giving to the Advance goes to the mission you specify. None is taken out for administrative purposes.
In the second place, every church – large and small – should have appropriate procedures in place for every expenditure. Two persons signing (not by e-mail) a payout request is a good start. Please see our document on the igrc website for helpful instructions on what we call, “Internal Accounting Controls for Local Churches.” http://www.igrc.org/
A treasurer in another Conference made us aware of an email scam that has targeted local churches. Please read the specifics below and make sure that others in your church are informed to avoid falling victim to this scam. Please refer to our Local Church Finance Minimum Standards document to make sure your internal controls would prevent this type of fraud in your church.