COMPUTER users are being warned to be aware of a scam in which people are sent emails telling them they may have cancer.
And a Bromsgrove man has described the malicious email senders "sick-minded" after receiving it while waiting for test results.
The email claims to be from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and is entitled "important blood analysis result".
It is thought thousands of people may have been sent the hoax emails.
Ivor Hawkes, from Aston Fields, was one of those to receive the message.
He received it while waiting for the results of blood tests to be delivered to his GP.
"The message informed me that my blood test results revealed that they suspected I had cancer and should contact my GP, as soon as possible," he said.
"I thought it rather strange and that if this were the case my doctor's practice would have contacted me.
"I had an appointment already booked to see my GP two days later.
"My doctor showed me the report on my tests, and there was no cause for concern at all."
Mr Hawkes showed the message to his GP who confirmed it was a scam.
He added: "This is obviously the work of a sick-minded person and anyone receiving such a letter should ignore it and not let it worry you."
NICE, which is not involved in cancer diagnosis, is advising people that the NHS never sends this sort of confidential information via email, and hoax emails should be deleted without opening.
Clicking any links within the email could compromise a computer’s security.
NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon said: “This email is likely to cause distress to recipients.
“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.”
For more information visit nice.org.uk.