A Lincolnshire County Councillor has received a letter threatening to publicly accuse them of being a paedophile, unless a large sum of money is paid.
The council is warning residents to be vigilant after the councillor, who has not been named, received the letter over the weekend. Two more letters have since been sent to their home address.
A payment of £10,000 was requested via bitcoins, a cyber-currency.
Anyone who may have received a similar letter is being told to report it to Lincolnshire Police.
The blackmail scam is thought to be connected to a case in the Thames Valley area.
Supt Mark Housley, County Officer for Public Protection, said: “An elected member at Lincolnshire County Council has been targeted by a distasteful blackmail scam, which appears to be the same as one in the Thames Valley area in June last year.
“The victim has received a letter to their home address, stating that if they do not pay £10,000 within five days, the blackmailers will claim that they are a paedophile.
“The letter states it doesn’t matter if the rumours are false, as once it is placed in people’s minds, it will stick for a long time.
“The blackmailers threaten that if their request is ignored, they will spread the accusation on social media to family members, friends, colleagues, and to the public via a media agency.
“Please do not be alarmed if you receive a letter like this. Try not to touch the letter too much, and call the police immediately on 101 so the letter can be examined by forensics.
“Don’t respond to these malicious letters or transfer any funds out of fear. As they request payment via bitcoins, a cyber-currency, you would be unlikely to see this money again, as it is difficult to trace.”
For more information about reporting a scam please, people can visit the Lincolnshire County Council Trading Standards website.