BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Trading Standards is warning computer users to be aware of an increase in spam emails.

Many of the spoof or malicious emails claim they are from customers' internet banking services, or other organisations such as eBay or PayPal.

Senders attempt to gain access to personal details, or bring the name of the company whose email address they use into disrepute.

Jackie Eldridge, education and information officer at Buckinghamshire Trading Standards, said: "People should always check the email address from which the email has been sent. If it looks suspicious, then it probably is.

"Most companies who send personal emails will address you by first name, last name, or business name, and not by dear user', or dear member'."

Mrs Eldridge added: "People should also ignore emails claiming to be from a company that asks you to follow links to a site to confirm your security and membership details.

"Check on the real website before you do any of this.

"The online companies you regularly deal with already have your personal details and would not normally request them again."

People are advised to check online company websites for sections on malicious or spoof emails.

For more information visit the website www.buckscc.gov.uk/trading_standards/netshopping.