Hundreds of people may have received an erroneous email from the Kapiti Coast District Council overnight as a result of a spam email that entered the council's system.
The email that was sent from a council email address asked recipients to "contact John for detailed information on funds transfer to you based on your surname. John's Email: email@example.com."
Mayor K Gurunathan said the spam that triggered this activity got through the council's spam filter, and it was unfortunate the incident had occurred.
"While our IT protection picks up most of the spam mail we receive there will always be the odd thing that slips through and we do encourage anyone that receives an obscure looking email from us to delete it and to contact us straight away.
"I can assure recipients that the council has not won the Lotto and transferred funds to individuals overnight."