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South Boston council emails hacked

SoVaNow.com / June 14, 2021
South Boston Town Council experienced an annoyance known to just about anyone who has ever used the internet: receiving fake emails from someone looking for something in return.

South Boston Council members Bob Hughes and Winston Harrell confirmed getting a fake email this week from Mayor Ed Owens. The email stated that Owens was tied up in a meeting and asked the recipient to do the mayor a favor — by going out and buying him some Apple gift cards.

“I thought it was odd, so I called Ed’s office and his secretary said he had taken off that day — and to delete the email, it was spam,” said Hughes.

“I knew if Ed wanted me to do something for him, he’d just give me a call,” continued Hughes. “If people would spend half their time doing something good instead of this, the world would be a better place.”

Harrell confirmed via text message that he had received the spam email, too.

“[Town clerk] Jane Jones sent an email about it to the town council warning them that it was a spam and not to open the email,” said Harrell.

Assistant Town Manager Dennis Barker, who has been updating the security of the town’s web-based infrastructure, said the town’s website was not hacked and the spam email came from somewhere else.

“Several of the town council members received the spam email, but our website cybersecurity has been updated in the last 18 months and we continue to see improvements,” said Barker.

Barker expressed that the easiest way for your computer to be hacked is through spam emails. If you get what appears to be a spam mail, delete it immediately from your inbox and then empty your trash mailbox to make sure the message is purged from your system.



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