THE Mayor of Workington has become the victim of a cyber attack – which has led to other councillors being asked for large amounts of money.

Mayor Herbert Briggs told the town council at a meeting on Wednesday about the attack which has left his long-term email address unusable.

Attackers had broken into the mayor’s email and began to ask other councillors for large amounts of money – sometimes in the region of £2,000.

Councillors were informed that the matter has now been referred to the police who are currently investigating.

Mr Briggs said: “My email address is no longer in use, if anyone sends an email to me you will not get a reply.

“I have been advised by the police to get any councillors’ emails sent to Workington Town Council which will be forwarded to me.

“My email address has been hacked big time and certain councillors have be asked for money in the region of £1,500 to £2,000.

“I have done away with that email address and have been advised not to give my new email address out people until the investigation on has been looked into.

“I don’t think that this will be resolved as it’s a big old world out there.”

The Mayor described the situation as a ‘nuisance’, due to his involvement in many other organisations other than the town council – and the fact that he had possessed his current email address for 15 years.

After the Mayor had informed councillors about the hacking of his email, Labour councillor David Farrer raised a question about whether it would be a good idea for councillors to have dedicated Workington Town Council emails for when they were carrying out their council business.

Both the town clerk and Cllr Paul Scott agreed with Mr Farrer’s suggestion and said they would look into how much it would cost to do that, as those kind of IT services were contracted from the council through to Allerdale Borough Council.

Other councillors suggested that the hacking was also a problem that former mayor Janet King had experienced during her time in office last year.