Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Bishop Konzen responds to phishing email scam

Published August 14, 2019  | En Español

SMYRNA—Bishop Joel M. Konzen, SM, diocesan administrator, has released the following statement on this week’s phishing email scam:

Just before noon on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, hackers logged in to the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s account with Constant Contact and sent a fraudulent invoice in the amount of $220 to the entire archdiocesan newsletter email list. Recipients clicking on the link in the misleading message were directed to an international payment site connected to a bank account in South Africa.

Archdiocesan staff were immediately in touch with Constant Contact, who within the hour had shut down the archdiocesan account and disabled the link in the fraudulent message. The account was briefly opened a short time later to send a legitimate follow-up notice from the archdiocese announcing the phony email and asking recipients to disregard and delete it. Our information technology department has reported the incident to the FBI.

We have no reason to believe that there was any malware or ransomware associated with the fake message. Nevertheless, we advise you to run a virus scan and to be alert to any unusual activity associated with the device on which you received the deceptive message. If you did input credit card information, you should contact your credit card company immediately and monitor your credit report.

While a general archdiocesan email list was inappropriately accessed to send this message, Constant Contact has verified that that list was not downloaded from their site and no data were exported.  So that you are aware, we have also confirmed that no information other than names and email addresses is contained on the list that was used in this incident. Based on a diligent review by us to date, we also have no reason to believe that there was any unauthorized access to secure parish or archdiocesan databases containing personal or financial information, including donor records and credit card numbers.

Nonetheless, we deeply regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may have caused for you. We are committed to maintaining the security of your personal information.