A councillor has warned local residents to beware of an internet scam.
Councillor Ian Mollison has warned of the scam which sees hackers break into email accounts to send a bogus appeal for money.
Cllr Mollison said: “I am aware of three attempts in the past week.
‘‘In one version the message says the sender is stranded in Manila in the Philippines as muggers had stolen his mobile phone and credit cards, clearing out the account.
‘‘In another version the passport is also stolen. The common theme is to ask for money to be sent straight away.
“The first time I received the email I was nearly taken in. The appeal was supposedly coming from someone who lives in Portlethen. It is well written and is not littered with the mistakes and nonsense there used to be in the scam emails everyone received from West Africa.
‘‘And, these days, it is quite feasible for Scots to be holidaying in the Far East.
“The second email I received had exactly the same wording, and came from a colleague who lives in Insch. I knew for sure he wasn’t in the Philippines!
“The other version said that Limassol in Cyprus was the scene of the mugging. Some people have been fooled by the messages. The scam is very convincing.”