Hello, fellow Toastmasters!
District 53 would like you to know that we’ve had a spate of both spam and phishing attacks on members and on District officers. The messages purport to come from District Director Patti Walter, DTM, asking you to buy gift cards to prominent businesses, and then to text or email the activation codes to a phone number or email.
NONE OF THESE EMAILS ARE AUTHORIZED.
DO NOT BUY GIFT CARDS ON THE DISTRICT’S BEHALF.
The District’s finances are governed by the Toastmasters Governing Documents, and specifically Protocol 8.4: District Fiscal Management. Part of those rules says,
Expenses that are essentially personal gifts must provide no more than “incidental private benefit” and must have a reasonable relationship to activities that directly support the mission. Examples are tokens of appreciation, expressions of sympathy and modest incentives. These items are appropriate if they promote goodwill and a positive atmosphere for the delivery of the Toastmasters program, but must never be lavish or excessive. Cash and cash equivalents, including but not limited to non-Toastmasters gift certificates, gift cards, or any other stored-value products, are not permitted.Protocol 8.4.8 – District Fiscal Management, Other District Expenses
In other words, the District cannot own or purchase gift certificates from organizations or companies other than Toastmasters International’s own internal store; and we cannot reimburse members, even District officers, who purchase such cards.
We strongly advise clubs to make their members aware of these rules, so that they are not victimized by this kind of predatory scam.