A CALDERDALE councillor has fallen victim to an internet scam alleging he was held up at gun point while on holiday in Greece.
Email messages began circulating yesterday claiming that Keith Hutson had been robbed and was in urgent need of money.
The scammers used his private email address and quickly spread alarm among his friends and acquaintances.
“I have had several telephone calls from people worried about what might have happened to me.
“It is obviously a scam but it is quite unnerving and I’m not sure what to do about it,” said Coun Hutson.
The scammers even provided a telephone number for the hotel he was alleged to be staying at so that friends could make cash transfers.
Earlier this year, the National Fraud Authority launched a new operation to track down the fraudsters behind the multi-million pound industry in scam mail and appealed for public input.
People receiving messages are urged to forward copies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action Fraud will pass them on to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau run by the City of London Police for collation and analysis.
Chief executive of Action Fraud Dr Bernard Herdan said doing so would give “unprecedented” information about criminal activity.
Last year, more than 3,000 people reported being scammed but police believe many more are too embarrassed to admit they fell for them.