MEXICO – Police Chief James Theriault has seen a variety of scams, but the latest, perpetrated against state legislator Sheryl Briggs, was a first.

Last Friday, Briggs was awakened at 5:30 a.m. by a call from a friend asking her if she was OK. Briggs was inundated with many more calls when she got to work in the morning, from people asking the same question.

The call was prompted by someone hacking into Briggs’ e-mail and sending an anxious message to the people on her address list saying that she was stranded in Scotland and had lost her wallet which contained her money, telephone, return air ticket, and a variety of other documents. The e-mail asked the recipients to wire $2,500 or whatever they could send. An Edinburgh, Scotland, address was listed in the fraudulent e-mail.

Whether anyone sent money to that address was not known.

Theriault said during the past few months he has received complaints from Mexico residents that they have received e-mails from friends asking for money. In that scam, the friend was said to be in jail and needing cash for bail.

He said the best thing the police department can do in such cases is to take the report, which Briggs made at about 9 a.m., and to keep records.

“The only thing a person (who gets a desperate e-mail from a friend) can do is call the home to see if they are OK, and advise local law enforcement,” Theriault said.

In other police matters:

Vehicles driven by Phillip A. Smith, 62, Roxbury, and David W. Errington, 65, of Peru, collided at 6:35 a.m., Feb. 25, in front of the Food Trend on Main Street. Smith’s 2008 Toyota sedan sustained $2,500 damage. Errington’s town of Mexico-owned 2008 GMC pickup sustained $2,000 damage.

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