They impersonate Facebook profiles, send you fake emails, and call you saying they can lower your interest rate. But they aren’t your friends. Spam calls, emails, and social media posts are getting more and more common. Just today, someone called It Is Written and reported that they received a phone call from someone using our name and phone number. One problem: it wasn’t us.
It is unfortunate that we can’t just trust the phone’s caller ID or the email address on the message in our inbox. The Facebook profile we just got a message from may not be our highschool sweetheart. I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to who have been scammed out of hundreds of dollars by the nice guy from ‘Apple’ or ‘Microsoft’ who called them and pointed out malware on their computer. The “nice guy” was the scammer himself.
Not too long ago someone told us, “I received a friend request from Pastor John Bradshaw on Facebook. Then I got this personal message from Pastor Bradshaw saying he’s praying for me. But when I looked at the profile, something didn’t seem right.” Someone was impersonating John Bradshaw on Facebook.
It can happen to anybody. And usually, there is little to nothing we can do to prevent it from happening. But we can be informed and take steps to protect ourselves and our information.
If your bank called and told you that you had a problem with your account, you would hang up and call your bank to ensure it was actually them. Same with a credit card company or mortgage company. Unfortunately, we all need to be that intentional about other organizations and businesses you hear from—even It Is Written.
It Is Written is a donor-supported ministry. We do ask for your support, but it is in very specific ways: our monthly letters, occasionally sponsored ads on social media, a television advertisement, our Partnership events, emails from something or someone @iiw.org. We will not do a call campaign asking for money. We will not call offering gift cards to our store. And we will not call and ask you to give us your credit card or banking information out of the blue.
We aren’t trying to raise alarm, just awareness. Check out the following tips when you take the next call, even if it says it’s from It Is Written:
✅ Tip 1: Be suspicious. That email may not be from Apple, iCloud, Microsoft, Outlook, or your bank. Hang up, then call the organization back using an official number you have for them.
✅ Tip 2: On Facebook, Pastor Bradshaw will only communicate with you via his public figure page. If you get a friend request from John Bradshaw, then you can report that as a fake profile. He’s already your friend, so he doesn’t have to ask!
✅ Tip 3: When in doubt, check it out. If it seems odd, it probably is. The IRS doesn’t call people; they send a letter in the mail. Microsoft and Apple will never call out of the blue about your computer. You must call them first.
✅ Tip 4: Do not click links in emails. Instead, type the address into your browser and see where it actually takes you. A link can be made to look like it’s taking you to a legitimate website but be linked to a scamming one.
✅ Tip 5: Be suspicious of all communication you didn’t originate. No, you didn’t win an all-expense-paid vacation for two (ex: “just attend this meeting and send $300 to reserve your spot”). If it sounds too good to be true—unless it’s salvation—it probably is.
✅ Tip 6: That sense of urgency in that email or that phone call is a sure sign of a scam. When you feel rushed, you make mistakes, and the scammers use that to bypass your good judgement.
✅ Tip 7: Before you give out any personal information, have a spouse or trusted friend look at the request with you. There is wisdom in counselors. Together, you may be able to help prevent a costly mistake. Pray to God for wisdom, and He will guide you.
✅ Tip 8: If you make a mistake, don’t be embarrassed, and definitely don’t beat yourself up. Even IT professionals make costly mistakes, and Fortune 500 companies get scammed. Know that God will help you through it.
Fraud is everywhere in our world. The devil is a liar, and he tells a lot of lies. But there’s one thing you can trust 100 percent of the time, and that’s the Bible. God’s Word is “Truth” (John 17:17). Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie.” You can trust the Bible, and you can trust God. Always.
When Jesus says He is coming back to this world soon, you can believe it. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). When Jesus says He will always be with you, you can know that it is true. “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
We must question things in this life, but we never have to question Him. His profile is very real, and we have the opportunity to see it every day. Believe in Him and His Word. He will always lead you to life.