Former Hillsville Mayor Randall Gravley wants everyone to know he is home and doing just fine. Gravleys’ e-mail account was apparently hacked Tuesday morning and a scam e-mail was sent to everyone on his contact list saying that he and his family have been on vacation in the United Kingdom. The e-mail goes on to say he was robbed at gunpoint and all his cash, credit cards and cell phone were stolen. The e-mail goes on to ask the recipient to loan him some money to pay bills overseas and he will return it to you when he gets home.
Contacted by phone Tuesday afternoon, Gravley said he is at his home in Central Virginia and doing just fine. The e-mail is a scam and he doesn’t want to see anybody get duped.
“I tried to send out a mass e-mail saying it was a scam and to disregard it, but when I did it said no contacts listed. It has been a headache,” Gravley said. “Everything is fine. I’m not anywhere but home.”
Replying to the scam e-mail will cause you to receive a response asking you to wire money to the U.K. via Western Union. Again, it is a scam, and if you send money overseas it will not only be gone forever, but will most likely be out of the jurisdiction of any U.S. law enforcement agency.
“I don’t have any idea how it happened. I had a text message this morning on my phone and it said it looked like my e-mail had been corrupted. Somebody in Hillsville had gotten the e-mail,” Gravley said. “Then I checked the computer and I couldn’t pull up any email. I’ve already had one person respond to it and they said they ask for $1,800, so please do not send anything. I’ve been hacked and regret it, but everything is alright on my side. This could happen to anybody. I would just tell people they may want to change their passwords occasionally and be aware of any correspondence they get.”
Jason Hawks, Interim Police Chief of the Hillsville Police Department, recommends citizens beware of sending any money or responding to any e-mail that seems even the slightest bit suspicious.