Tauranga City councillor Murray Guy was stranded in the United Kingdom and in need of urgent financial assistance, according to an email sent to friends, contacts and his wife yesterday.
Mr Guy's Xtra email account was hacked resulting in everything, including his contacts, being deleted with no way of retrieval.
"It's a bit like arriving at your house and finding the door's been kicked in and you're too scared to go in," he said.
Some of his emails were backed up but the majority, many from constituents, were lost.
An email message was also sent to all his contacts explaining Mr Guy was stranded in the UK and the recipient was the only person he could think of to help him by providing about £1900.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />
The message asked recipients to reply to a fake email address for Mr Guy, before receiving further instructions.
"They're only interested in one response and that's a reply from which they can extract money," Mr Guy said.
Mr Guy came out of the council chambers yesterday to find voice messages from concerned recipients on his cellphone but had not heard of anyone being duped by the scam.
He said staff at Xtra felt the attack was random, unpreventable and computer generated.
He was able to keep the same email address, having changed his password, and said anyone who had not received a timely response to an email was welcome to re-send it.