25 March 2014
Islanders are being warned of a potentially distressing scam email, apparently linked to a harmful computer virus.
The email, claiming to be from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), tells the recipient that there is a suspicion of a cancer following an analysis of their blood result. Some of the terminology used in the email would not be used by qualified clinicians, and some abbreviations and spellings are those used in the US.
These emails are not from NICE, are not linked in any way to Health and Social Services. It is thought to be an email virus.
Jersey Consumer Council advice
Both HSSD and the Jersey Consumer Council have been made aware of the email.
Advocate Rose 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 through the following points about spotting a scam:
- if its uninvited, it’s probably a scam
- if you are told to respond very quickly, it’s probably a scam
- never send money if you've received an email asking you to do so you're not sure about
- always check to see if it’s real
Advocate Colley added "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 tips and warning signs.”
What to do if you think you've received an email
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.