Computer hackers have stolen a female Whitsunday Regional Council member's idenity and are sending around fake emails.
Computer hackers have stolen a female Whitsunday Regional Council member's idenity and are sending around fake emails. BrianAJackson

Hackers target council

WHITSUNDAY Regional Council was caught up in an email scam today but has assured the public no council information was accessed.

A spokesperson from WRC confirmed a female employee's identity was stolen and a fake account was created.

An email with a subject line headed 'Important Review' posing as Sarah Collins with an attached PDF file has been sent around to community members.

The number of emails sent has not been confirmed at this stage.

Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue president Mal Priday was one person who was targeted in the scam and rang WRC to confirm the email's legitimacy.

Mr Priday said the email was addressed to VMR by name and council were aware of the problem when he called about two hours ago.

"It is strange because it was sent to me and the Lions club, local community groups," he said.

Whitsunday Lions club member Sue Gravelle confirmed the local club's gmail email account was also targeted today and the email deleted as spam.

In a statement issued by council they confirmed that the emails are not being sent by any of their employees.

"They are malicious emails sent by a third party unknown to Council," a spokespeson said.

"The emails were not created by Council nor is Council able to stop their creation."

WRC advises that, "if you receive an email that appears to be from a Council staff member, but you were not expecting it, please contact the sender by phone, or in a separate email, to confirm they are actually legitimate emails".

Councillor Jan Clifford advised community members over social media: "If in doubt about any email please phone the sender or the office. Do not open the attachment of any suspicious email."

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