The Department of Health has recently been made aware that a local resident has received an email purporting to be from the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in relation to blood test results. The Department wishes to reassure the public that at no time would patients be contacted by email in relation to blood test results, serious diagnosis or illness.
The content of the email suggests that a sample of blood from a recent blood test has been received for research purposes, and that the results may indicate a cancer diagnosis.
The email scam which appears to be sent from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org does not originate from NICE, who state that these mail boxes do not exist, that they do not process blood test results and do not collect or keep personal health data. The subject of the email may read ‘Important blood analysis result’ or ‘Blood test results’. The advice from NICE is to delete the email without opening it and not to click on any links or documents within it.
The Minister for Health, Hon Howard Quayle MHK, said: “The Department understands the distress and anxiety that could be caused by this malicious email scam. I wish to reassure the public that at no time would patients be contacted by email in relation to blood test results, serious diagnosis or illness. The resident has been supported and reassured by their GP. The advice is not to open the email should you receive it. If you or someone close to you has any concerns about blood test results, please seek advice from your GP or referring Consultant.”
NICE has reported the scam to the UK’s National Fraud and Internet Crime Reporting Centre, ‘Action Fraud’ and the Metropolitan Police to investigate.