Squirrel Hill, PA

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The Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha congregation is warning community members to beware of false emails being circulated from an account posing as “Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers.”

The Tree of Life congregation posted the warning to its Facebook and Twitter pages Thursday afternoon. People particularly in the Squirrel Hill community have been receiving a phishing email that appears to come from Rabbi Myers, the congregation said. 

The email is not from an authentic account and may prompt recipients to respond for a “favor,” the congregation said.

The congregation urges anyone who receives the message to not click on any links or respond to the email and to “check your emails carefully.” 

Barb Feige, executive director of Tree of Life, added in a statement: “Tree of Life has learned through a private listserv shared among synagogue executive directors that this phishing scheme appears to have happened to approximately 20 rabbis nationwide. It does not appear to be a targeted effort toward Tree of Life or the Pittsburgh community. This information was shared with security and law enforcement authorities to determine if any investigation is warranted or possible.”

The scam was particularly worrisome given that Tree of Life received donations in response to the Oct. 27, 2018, anti-Semitic attack by a gunman who killed 11 worshipers from three congregations meeting at the Tree of Life synagogue building in Squirrel Hill.

Anyone who may have received the email can also call the Tree of Life office at 412-521-6788.

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