Dear friends and brethren.
Today, I must bring to your attention a matter of grave concern that affects us:
Online scammers are using your photos, which you share online, to scam others.
I’ve recently become aware of a disturbing trend where unscrupulous individuals are exploiting the good name of Masonry.
These scammers are stealing photographs of legit Masons they find online (often taken at legitimate Masonic events) and using them to create fraudulent online accounts.
They then aim to deceive cowans, particularly individuals from developing countries, by offering to sell “memberships to the Illuminati”
A concept many falsely associate with Freemasonry.
This issue came to our attention on our Facebook page and also through our Facebook group, ‘The Masonic Gentleman,’ where we observed attempts by these scammers to infiltrate the group.
This has been going on for a while now.
But they’re getting smarter now, and they’re harder to spot.
Some of these scam profiles even issue legitimate-looking warnings to stay away from scammers, and instead ask folks to get in touch with them personally “to be safe of scammers”
It’s truly mind-bending.
And they go to great lengths to make these fake profiles look like the real thing.
Here are some examples:
We’ve also heard from some of their victims, which prompted me to issue this warning today.
Identity theft for scams can tarnish your personal reputation and can also lead to some immense legal challenges, as disassociating from fraudulent activities is often complex.
Additionally, this situation can cause significant emotional distress, knowing your identity is used to deceive others.
To safeguard yourself, here are some measures you can take:
Vigilance with Online Photos:
Exercise caution in what you share online, especially on public forums. Images from inside the lodge of brethren in their full regalia can sadly be misused by these fraudsters to scam others.
Educate and Inform:
Inform your family, friends, and acquaintances about this scam. Awareness is a powerful tool in preventing victimization.
Report Suspicious Activity:
If you encounter any account or individual claiming to sell memberships to the Craft or the so-called “Illuminati,” report them immediately to the platform.
Collaboration with Authorities:
If you become aware of a scam, consider reporting it to the relevant legal authorities. Scams like this are not only harmful to Masonry but are often part of larger criminal activities.
There’s not much one can do, but at least we can try.
It’s not fun having to write this warning, but I believe you should know about this.
Brethren, in these challenging times, let us remember our commitment to truth and integrity.
Stand united against those who would use our good name and reputation for deceitful purposes.
Your vigilance and proactive measures can make a significant difference in combating this issue…
And always remember to be cautious.