Northumberland County Council is warning residents to be on their guard for a scam email which alleges to be from the technology company Apple. 

The authority's Public Protection Trading Standards team has recently been made aware of an email referring to the successful payment for the game ‘War of Nations’ at a cost of $29.98.

However, the email indicated to residents that they could ‘cancel and get a full refund’ by using a hyperlink. Throughout the email, the word cancel is repeatedly spelled as ‘cancle’. 

All residents are warned not to press unknown “links” as they can lead to fake websites which try and trick the user into entering sensitive information such as passwords and banking details.

Some of these websites also attempt to install malware, viruses or spyware on the recipient’s computer, which then enables someone to take control of the computer and steal personal and sensitive information.

Philip Soderquest, head of Housing and Public Protection at Northumberland County Council said: “The phishing emails that we receive in our inbox are increasingly well written, personalised, contain the logos and language of brands we know and trust and are crafted in such a way that it's difficult to distinguish between an official email and a fake email drafted by a scammer.”

Coun. John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for public protection said: “It’s sad that there are people out there who devote so much time and effort to ripping off other people. It does mean that everyone has to be careful.

"People have to be wary when they receive calls or emails from an unknown or unexpected source because, all too often, these are part of a scam. Many originate from abroad and are hard to investigate.

“We advise all consumers to be wary and don’t be pressured or tricked into providing your bank details.”

The council's trading standards team is providing the following advice to residents to prevent them from becoming a victim of the scam:

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails suggesting or implying that you owe money or have won money;
  • Don’t be pressured into giving personal details or bank details;
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails when you are busy. Wait until you have the time to give them your full consideration;
  • Watch for bad spelling and/or poor grammar in an email claiming to represent a company, royalty, a prize etc;
  • Always consider that a request for money is to be treated with suspicion until proven otherwise.

Anyone believing they have been contacted by a scammer, of would like further advice, can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on (0345) 4040506, or report any potential fraud to Action Fraud at, or by calling (0300) 123 2040.