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Burnley MP hit by 'email mugging' scam
FORMER Burnley MP Peter Pike has hit out at criminals who hacked into his personal email account, claiming he had been mugged in France and needed money to pay his hotel bill.
The fake email, sent out to more than 1000 contacts in his address book, said Mr Pike and his family needed a loan of £1,350.
The former MP and chairman of the Clarets Trust has reported the breach to police, who are investigating.
The message was headlined ‘Urgent Help! Peter Pike’ and claimed muggers had stolen his credit cards and mobile phone in a park in Paris, but they still had their passports.
It went on to say the police and embassy were not helping and the hotel manager would not let them leave until they settled their bill.
The hackers then wrote: "If you could loan me £1,350, I will refund the money back to you as soon as I return and let me know if you need my details to effect a transfer.
“I promise to refund it back once i get home, write to me so I can let you know how to remit. I'm freaked out at the moment.”
The email was signed with the politician’s name and the name of the homeless charity that he supports, Emmaus Burnley.
Mr Pike said that the message had ‘messed up’ his email account.
He said: “I’m absolutely fine, and so are all my family. I haven’t been out of Burnley.
“I’ve had literally dozens of people phoning me, on my mobile, on my house phone, and emailing me. It’s quite amazing the number of people who have been concerned and checking up on me and offering to send me money.
“But I assure you there’s no way I would say ‘I’m freaked out’. I’m not the type of person that freaks out.
“It is annoying, it’s a nuisance. I’ve had the same thing happen to several other people I know.
“I had a similar email from Burnley councillor Roger Frost a while ago, and the woman at the police station when I reported it said it’s happened to her twice.
“I’ve been advised that if anyone has replied to the scam email they should change their password.”
A Lancashire police spokesman said: “We are looking into the matter. ”
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