Scammers use friendly faces to send phony emails

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Most people would delete an email from a stranger asking for money, but some scammers are getting more creative with who suspicious emails come from.

Scammers used Father Dan Kampschneider's name to solicit money from trusting members of St. Vincent Catholic Church.

"You've got so many people who see you as their leader," he said.

Kampschneider is concerned about reactions to the phony email.

"Some people are going to fall for it who really don't necessarily have the money to do it, but they want to help their pastor and that's what saddens me," he said.

The scammers claimed a cancer patient needed $300 in gift cards, but the plea came from a phony G-Mail address.

"He's using many blessings of The Lord for you," Kampschneider said.

The pastor isn't alone. Retired Sarpy County Sheriff's Lieutenant Russ Zeeb had his email hijacked and scammers asked for gift cards while pretending to be him.

"A lot of people called concerned, worried, but I don't think, and I pray that nobody fell for it," Zeeb said.

D.M.E. computer services said those who receive the phony emails are actually less at risk.

"They could not hack into their account, they can just send an email asking for the money or for any information," Dario Dulovic said.

He recommends checking "Have I Been Pwned."

"It will tell you if your email or password have been hacked," Dulovic said.

Kampschneider sent out a warning about the phony email. It read, "This is not a request from Father Dan. Please know that this is a scam."

St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church sent the scam warning to 1,600 parishioners and others who may have received the email.