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Patients are being sent fake blood test results claiming they have cancer in a dangerous new hoax.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is investigating after patients, including those in Maldon, were sent emails claiming to be from the organisation, which provides guidance on ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease and ill health.

A 40-year-old patient from Maldon, who did not wish to be identified, was waiting for blood results from University College London Hospital for a dystonia condition and received the hoax email.

He said: “On reading it I was scared, went white and thought I was going to collapse and pass out.”

People who have not had blood tests have also received the email.

Bryan Chapman of Volwycke Avenue, Maldon, said: “I am absolutely disgusted by it because I don’t think there is anyone I don’t know who hasn’t had someone in the family suffer from a form of cancer and it’s the lowest of the low.”

* Full story in this week's Standard.