An NHS scare about a text message scam targeting patients was accidentally sparked by a genuine inquiry from the health service, a spokeswoman has said.
NHS England warned members of the public in Cumbria and the North East on Tuesday, about a text which requested personal information, including date of birth and email address.
But after raising the alarm, it was discovered the message had been sent by an NHS organisation, not fraudsters.
This is despite the initial alert claiming the "NHS does notcollect information in this way".
A spokeswoman for NHS England Cumbria and North East said:
Patients had been asked to reply to a series of texts, which first requestedinformation about their age and, when answered, their email address.
One read: "Hi, this is a message from the NHS to confirm your identity please reply with Y followed by your year of birth."
The subsequent NHS England statement, sent to local papers, said: