CHARLOTTETOWN -- The Tourism minister in Prince Edward Island says that a hacker has accessed his mobile telephone and has been sending out an untrue email soliciting funds under the cabinet minister's name.
Robert Henderson says his list of personal contacts were downloaded by whoever accessed his cellphone.
Now some people are being told in emails that Henderson lost his wallet while sightseeing in Manila and they are being asked if they will provide some money until he arrives home.
Henderson says he was en route to Charlottetown for his regular Tuesday morning cabinet meeting when his phone started ringing, and he realized someone had hacked into his private email account.
He says it's troubling that the hacker had emptied his email account's address book of about 900 to 1,000 people, and he feels helpless in his ability to warn others about the scam.
Information technology experts in the department were trying to recover his email list.
"It's quite an inconvenience to those individuals," he acknowledged. "I hope everybody understands (it's a scam) and hopefully nobody gets caught up in any kind of a problem here."
Henderson said response from recipients was swift.
"I've had probably 50 phone calls," he said.
Sgt. Andrew Blackadar, the RCMP's media relations officer, is urging anyone who receives the false emails to delete them immediately.