ISLANDERS are being warned of a potentially distressing scam email, apparently linked to a harmful computer virus. The message looks like a person’s blood tests results and claims to come from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The email, which advises the individual who receives it that there is “suspicion of a cancer” following an analysis of someone’s blood result is not from NICE, and is not linked in any way to Health and Social Services. It is an email virus. Some of the terminology used in the email would not be used by bona fide clinicians, and some abbreviations and spellings are those used in the US.
NICE is a national standards setting body, based in the UK, not a clinical service that would be aware of the blood test results of an individual, let alone informing them personally.
The Jersey Consumer Council and HSSD have both been made aware of the email. Advocate Colley, Consumer Council Chairman commented: “Scammers are continually getting smarter, more pervasive and nasty. Stay safe by being one step ahead.
“The Council urges everyone to stop and think: “If it’s uninvited it’s probably a scam; if you are told to respond very quickly it’s probably a scam. Never send money and always check to see if it’s real. This most recent scam is so cruel and frightening. We need to work together to stop the spread of this email. Please help others and spread the scam top tips and warning signs.”
A spokesperson from Health and Social Services said: “NICE is a healthcare organisation which has high standards of care and confidentiality as priorities, and would never communicate with an individual in this way. If anyone has received this bogus email, it could be very distressing, especially if that person has recently had a blood test.
If you receive such an email, please DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT – delete the scam email and its virus without delay. It is neither from NICE, nor from HSSD, nor any other reputable genuine source.”
NICE have issued a warning about the email on the home page of their website: http://www.nice.org.uk/