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Nuisance email


Phishing is a cyber crime where criminals contact people by email, telephone or text message, pretending to be a legitimate organisation. They try to get people to provide personal information such as bank details and passwords, and often include links that once clicked, download a virus to your computer and steal personal information. The information is then used to access accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

Be aware of suspicious messages and emails and do not click on links or attachments in them. Never respond to unsolicited messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

If you do receive a suspicious email, this can be reported to National Cyber Security Centre via their Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) Any suspected frauds committed by email can be send to Action Fraud. See Q680 and Q749 for further information regarding fraud and see the links in Related Information to report any suspicious or fraudulent emails.


You should make a note of the website address and report this to your local police station, via their non-emergency 101 number.

It will depend on the circumstances as to whether the police are able to take any action. There will be a specialist department within the Force that will gather all information and take appropriate action.

If you come across any websites that are inciting racial hatred or other hate crime (see Q643), please report it to the True Vision organisation. To visit their website please see the Related Information.


If you receive two or more nuisance or threatening communications this could amount to an offence of harassment. For harassment to be committed, there must be a 'course of conduct' i.e. two or more related occurrences. The communication does not necessarily have to be violent in nature, but it would need to be oppressive and cause alarm or distress.

The incidents must be related and must not be two isolated incidents. The further apart the incidents are, the less likely there is to be an offence of harassment. However, all the circumstances of the incident will be taken into account when determining if an offence has been committed.

The law takes into account the "reasonable person" test. This means that if it was felt that a person of reasonable firmness i.e. the average person on the street would not be alarmed or distressed, the offence is not committed. The offender must also be aware that the course of conduct they are pursuing would cause the victim to alarmed or distressed.

A and B were partners, A finishes the relationship but B is not happy. B sends 30 communications over the course of a week begging A to reconsider. If A is then distressed by this course of action, an offence of harassment is likely to have been committed. Note however, if A was not distressed and ignored the communications, then no offence of harassment would have occurred.

There are two possible ways of dealing with this type of harassment; through the police or the civil courts. To commence civil proceedings you should contact the Citizens Advice, please see the link in related information to find your nearest one. Alternatively, if you would like police involvement you can contact your local policing team via the non-emergency 101 number.


The best way to stop spam e-mails is to protect your e-mail address and only give it out to those people you wish to receive e-mails from.

You can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) who may be able to block any future messages from the sender. Alternatively, most providers allow you to block the sender from your email account via a computer or mobile device.

If the sender persistently sends spam mail, the ISP may be able to block all future e-mails from this person.

Contact your local police force

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