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All of the news right now is how to be safe by taking care of your physical and mental health; my message is about keeping your finances safe. Unfortunately, I have received information from several sources that fraudsters are taking advantage of the current situation so you need to be vigilant. Please remember that “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

The top three scams are fraudulent services (for example, being asked to pay for COVID-19 tests), prize pitches (you need to send an administration fee to receive a worthless prize) and grandparent scams (a message supposedly from a grandchild or other relative asks for money to be sent right away). As well, organizations such as the police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) WILL NEVER ask for money over the phone.

To protect yourself, always take time to assess the situation regardless of any pressure to send money right away. Note down the name of the organization or relative that called you. Look up their phone number and call that number (not the number that the caller provided you with or the number that showed up on your call display) to find out what is really going on.

Finally, from a finance and administration standpoint, even though most staff are working from home, staff can still access the church systems including email and voicemail. Therefore, they can continue among other things to add people to PAR and make changes to current people’s PAR. As well, as of right now, staff are still allowed to enter the church building. Therefore, mail is still being opened and processed. I do ask that if you mail anything to the church, you use self-sealing envelopes or water to seal the envelopes, no saliva please to protect our staff! If you have any questions about whether something has been received at the church or any other question, please call the church office. Take care of yourselves!

Liane Clark, Treasurer