A HAMPSHIRE councillor has hit out at online fraudsters who are using his name in a bid to con people out of almost £1,500.

A bogus email bearing the name of Neville Penman, former chairman of Totton and Eling Town Council, says he needs cash to get home after being robbed at gunpoint in the grounds of his holiday hotel.

A fraudster hacked into Cllr Penman’s private email account and then sent the fake plea to scores of his friends and colleagues.

The Tory councillor for Totton North said: “I’m disgusted – it’s totally unacceptable.”

The bogus e-mail says: “My family and I came down here to Lozova, Ukraine, for a short vacation to visit a resort and we got mugged at gunpoint last night... All cash, credit cards and mobile phone were stolen from us.

Thank God we still have our passport ID with us.

“Our flight leaves today and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the hotel bill.

“Am freaked out. I need a loan of $2450 (£1,477) from you. I will refund the money back to you once we get home. Neville Penman.”

The councillor urged people to ignore the e-mail and never click on “reply”, which could enable the fraudsters to carry out the scam.

A BT spokesman said: “Our website, bt.com, offers lots of regularly updated advice to customers about the steps they can take to protect themselves.”