Yesterday, our Treasurer, Matt Pohsweg, received an email request apparently from me ( to wire over $8,0000 to a California bank. Fortunately he was properly suspicious and quickly found the e-mail to be bogus.

( A Google search of the bank's routing # showed the bank branch to be in Minneapolis.) This was a case of “e-mail spoofing” where the listed sender's address is misleading. For more information on this, see In this case, an Internet Fraud case was filed with the FBI and an internal investigation was started by the bank to which the money was supposed to be wired.

The e-mail addresses of our officers appear on our website along with their names and other information; a search of the internet can disclose considerable information. As a result, it's possible for anyone to fabricate a genuine-sounding message from a region officer or anyone you know. This could take the form of a request for money, either for a region expense or registration at an event, a request for financial details (such as names and passwords) of on-line accounts, and/or for information about your car or other possessions, and the like. Be especially suspicious of things that must be done in a hurry and/or contain obvious grammatical errors.

A deception may be obvious. In following up, do not click on 'reply' as this just sends e-mail to the spoofer. Instead, send a new message to the address listed on our website or personal email address, if available. When reading an e-mail from someone you know, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. The Internet is open to the whole world: anything that you or anyone else post should be considered in the public domain. [Be aware that some websites are secure and protect/encode all information: different browsers indicate this in different ways; a secure web address should be preceded by 'https://' (as opposed to 'http://' without the 's').]

We take your security very seriously: our officers will never make financial or personal information requests via email. Be very wary of anyone who does. AR-PCA financial matters are handled at our monthly Board meetings and personal information requests by personal contact. Thank you.

Peter GrahamPeter