LEADING doctors have warned residents to be on the lookout for a hoax email suggesting the recipient has cancer.
The spam email, which purports to come from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is titled "important blood analysis result" and tells the recipient a sample of their blood was sent to NICE for further research.
It goes on to say the recipient's white blood cell count is very low and there is "a suspicion of cancer" before telling the recipient to print out an attachment and visit their doctor.
Leek GP and Clinical Director at North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Julie Oxtoby, said: "A malicious scam like this could be very upsetting for the person receiving it so we need to get the message out there as quickly as possible that it is not from NICE.
"It has been reported to the police they will be investigating its origin.
"It may be that those behind the fake email are trying to obtain password information from the recipient's email account so we are advising anyone who receives it deletes it without opening it or clicking on any of the links."
Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE said the matter was being taken seriously and said updates would be posted throughout the on the NICE website via Twitter @NICEComms.