A 21 year-old Cambridgeshire man has been arrested and released on police bail after a hoax email on Friday had thousands of worried people jamming Cambridgeshire Police's main switchboard.
The arrest was made just hours after the email began to circulate around the country, which led consumers to suspect that their credit card details had been used to buy an iPod.
The email, from a company called Huntington Mail Order, appeared to be an invoice for a 40GB iPod music player. It informed recipients that UKCards Ltd would charge £399.99 to their credit cards.
But neither company exists and the delivery address and post code listed do not seem to exist. The customer services number given in the email, however, was the switchboard for Cambridgeshire Police.
At the height of the scam, described by police as a "deliberate attempt" to affect its services, up to 500 people an hour were calling the number.
This forced Deputy Chief Constable Alan Given to issue a nationwide statement asking people to ignore the email.
"This appears to be a deliberate attempt to affect the service provided by the force," he said.
"If you received such an email we would advise you to ignore it and not ring the customer services number that is listed."
The man arrested has been released on bail pending further enquires. He is required to report back to the police in March 2004.
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