A Colne councillor has this week become victim to a vindictive hacking attack.
Coun. Dorothy Lord, who represents the Waterside ward, was informed that a hoax email had been sent to her 500 contacts on Monday morning.
It stated that she and her family had been mugged in an alley by a gang of thugs during an unannounced trip to Ukraine.
The email, entitled “Help and Favor Needed” went on to read: “All valuable things including cell phones were stolen off us, quite honestly it was beyond a dreadful experience for us but looking on the bright side we weren’t seriously hurt or injured and we are still alive so that is what’s important. I’ve report to the Authorities here and cancelled all our cards.
“I’m really having some difficulties clearing our hotel bills and also need to pick up a voucher ticket at the counter for us to catch a flight back home as soon as possible. All we need right now is £2,200 but anything you can spare pending when we get things straightened out will be appreciated and I promise to refund you as soon as we arrive home safely. Let me know what you can do so I can tell you how to get the money to me. We are depressed at the moment.”
Now, Coun. Lord, who was hacked in a similar way last year, is reassuring family, friends and constituents that she is safe, and urging them to remain vigilant when it comes to surfing online.
She said: “I would just like to say that this is an absolute hoax, and other people beware.
“When I was last hacked, somebody tried to hack into my bank account. I lost all my emails, and I was without email for a week. I had about 60 phone calls as well. It is nice because people are genuinely concerned, but it is a proper nuisance when it happens.”
There is plenty of advice online for anybody who has been hacked, including the need to change your password and run Antivirus software on your computer. It is also suggested that you close any unused accounts, and warn your contacts as soon as possible.