DOCTORS in Cumbria have issued a warning to residents following a spate of ‘fake cancer diagnosis’ emails.
The emails claim to have been sent by NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - suggesting the recipient might have cancer following a ‘recent blood test’.
However, say medics, this is simply a malicious email and has not been sent by NICE, a GP or any other NHS organisation.
“A spam email purporting to come from NICE is being sent to members of the public regarding cancer test results," said Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive.
“This email is likely to cause distress to recipients since it advises that ‘test results' indicate they may have cancer.
“This malicious email is not from NICE and we are currently investigating its origin.
"We take this matter very seriously and have reported it to the police.”
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The fake email states: “Further to your recent blood tests the results of your full blood count have indicated your white blood cells are low which could indicate cancer.”
NICE is now advising people who have received the email - the subject line of which is ‘important blood analysis result’ - to delete it without opening it and not to click on any links.
“A number of patients from different parts of Cumbria have contact their GP practices after receiving this spam email, which has caused concern and distress,” said NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Medical Director, Dr David Rogers.
“We would like to confirm patients across Cumbria that this email is malicious, and that NICE are currently investigating where it is coming from and who is responsible.”
Updates on the investigation will be made on the NICE website and also via Twitter by following @NICEComms