Southern Ocean Chamber Warns Of Email Scam

Photo by Jason Allentoff

  LONG BEACH ISLAND – If you have recently received an email from the chamber asking for donations, it’s been reported as a scam.

  The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce has stated that there was a fabricated email sent throughout the community asking residents to donated to a fake fundraiser.

  The fraud email wrongfully used the Chamber’s logo to send out and promote a fake GoFundMe account.

  The fake email stated “One of our members is in dire need of the entire Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce help and it will really be appreciated if we all can join hands together and save his son. A fundraising campaign has been created and we are counting on everyone. Below is the campaign, thank you for your support.”

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  The fake email then presented photos of the GoFundMe fundraiser page showing a sick boy and a summary of the situation. It stated how the 3-year-old boy was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia and that the goal was to raise $75,000 to help financially support the family.

  At the bottom of the email was the “link” to the GoFundMe page, but the link was actually connected to a private PayPal account. It was later discovered that the email was not sent from the Chamber’s server.

  Once the Chamber was alerted of the fraud email, they immediately contacted PayPal and the New Jersey Cyber Intelligence unit.

  “This type of fraud has been circulating elsewhere, as are so many cyber scams that prey on good will. We always encourage anyone to contact us directly if there is ever a question of authenticity regarding our communication,” said Lori Pepenella, the CEO of the Southern Ocean Chamber.

  The Chamber will be discussing the issue at their next meeting, which will take place on March 11 at Mainland Manahawkin Conference Room. The meeting will feature Homeland Cyber Security and discuss how local businesses can understand current cyber threats and solutions to them.