former Belper Mayor Mick Nelson was shocked when many of his friends and family fearing he was in trouble abroad.
They and the Belper News received an email claiming to be from him saying : ‘I’m writing this with tears in my eyes. My family and I came down here to Madrid, Spain, on a short vacation. Unfortunately we got mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed. All cash, credit card and cell were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us. We’ve been to the embassy and the Police here, but they’re not helping the issues at all and my flight leaves in a few hours from now and am having problems settling the hotel bills. The hotel manager won’t let me leave until I settle the bills. I’m freaked out at the moment...’.
It was signed Michael Nelson and was complete with a Belper address and telephone number. But he had been the victim of a computer hacker.
He said: “The motives are probably money. I had calls from people asking how I was, but most recognised some of the language was different. Vacation is not a word used in Belper!”