FORMER Newtownabbey Mayor Billy Webb has warned of the dangers of the internet and urged people to be vigilant about security after his email account was hacked.
Councillor Webb was contacted by a friend who received an email from the Macedon representative which linked to a premier-rate text number.
Billy said: “The email just said there is a private message waiting for you and when my friend clicked on the link it directed him to a competition website.
“He is fond of a competition and so entered his details and seconds later he received a text on his mobile to say he had signed up to a text service which had cost him £6 - he was lucky it was not more.”
This week the councillor sent out an email to all in his address book warning about the scam message and urging people to ignore it.
He added: “I’m not sure how this happened, it may have been when I bought something online that they managed to access my email account.
“I have received emails like these and always thought the link attached to be dubious, so never clicked on them. If it looks strange, chances are it is strange.
“This just shows you that you have to be very careful with your personal details and what you enter onto websites.
“You really need to be vigilant, or you can clock up a big bill without even knowing it.
“Those involved in this practice can be very clever, they can make sites look like they are the genuine article.
“It is best not to enter information, like passwords, if you are contacted for them - as it is something companies and banks will never do.”