Scammy Email Season
By John Edgerton
December 6, 2022

Therefore, be wise as serpents and innocent as doves
~Matthew 10:16

Christmas time has well and truly begun because the scams have started. Scam emails, scam phone calls, scam texts. Just today, a bunch of church members received a scam email supposedly from me.  

Most of them will start something like “can you get back to me quickly I need help with something?” But, should you wind up replying to them, they invariably lead to a request to send gift cards. Or possibly verify your bank account information. 

Why do these always seem to peak before Christmas? I believe it is because scammers know that Christmas puts people in a generous frame of mind. We are more likely to take a risk and be generous and give things away in the season of Christmas. 

In a certain sense, the uptick in scams is actually kind of a nice sentiment. So often, it seems that those who would take advantage of others are playing off of fear, or selfishness, or scarcity. For once, what is being preyed upon is our nobler impulses. Charity, generosity, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all,” that sort of thing. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you reply to those scammy emails. Please don’t. If you’d like to be generous at Christmas time, support the Holiday Food and Gift Basket, or Beyond Hunger, or the church’s Christmas offering that benefits Christians in Syria and Lebanon (more on that next week).

As is so often the case, Christ’s words are rather the best guide for us. In Matthew, he counsels us to be “as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves”. So, yes, be generous at Christmas, give with a free hand and an open heart, as innocently as you please. And also be as crafty as our friends the serpents, who would never click on a fishy email link.

Prayer: God, bless our generosity, and bless us with hope.