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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Unsolicited e-mail, sometimes referred to as 'spam ' or 'unsolicited commercial email' (UCE), is electronic mail which is unwarranted and sent for the purpose of selling the recipient goods or services such as; multi-level marketing schemes, get-rich-quick schemes, work at home schemes or questionable products/pornography.

Several years ago 'spammers' developed software that could lift all the email addresses from web pages. The software is similar to that used by search engines to index websites. Automated 'robots' follow links from one website to another and trawl pages looking for any text that contain the @ symbol. These are assumed to be email addresses and are taken for later use in mass e-mailing.

Some spam mail appears to be from people you would know with the title being something similar to Re:Hello. You are more likely to open one of these e-mails if you think it is a reply to an e-mail that you have previously sent. If you do not recognise the e-mail address then DO NOT open the e-mail as this could infect your computer with a virus.

These emails may be from scammers trying to steal your identity to access personal information in order to steal your money; this is called 'phishing'. For more information on this and please see the website in related information.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.