A tricky-looking email scam is doing the rounds - and has even made its way into the inboxes of Kiwi police officers.

The scam tells the user it needs extra "verification" to protect the security of their account.

It invites the person to click on a link to verify their email.

"Please note that this message is an automatic warning that your mailbox security needs upgrade," it says.

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A police spokesperson said the email had reached a "small number" of police staff, but they were not aware of anybody clicking on the links in the message.

"Police are aware of a small number of staff who have received a suspicious email, which says it has been sent by the Outlook 'Mail Administrator'," the spokesperson said.

"Clicking on the link in the email will direct the person through to website, which appears to be malicious.

"As far as we are aware, no one has so far been affected due to the Police ICT team alerting staff to this type of scam.

"Police have now had the emails blocked on our end, and the information on the scam has now been shared with relevant organisations."

Email scams are a common occurrence and police regularly receive reports of various scams that are running, the spokesperson said.

"The way in which scammers operate is reasonably fluid, due to social media and other technology constantly changing.

"If you have any doubt about an email that you receive, then it is more than likely it is a scam."

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Police advice for people who receive a suspicious email:

• Don't trust anyone who asks for financial information such as your account details and especially your password - if you do get a request similar to this, call the company on their published contact 0800 number or arrange a meeting at the relevant agency branch.

• Common identifying factors for email scams normally include poor English in the initial email, as well as false phone numbers and email addresses. Some may also come from domains that appear to be similar to those of reputable organisations.

• If you have been the victim of a scam and your accounts have been compromised, please report this immediately to your bank and to your local police station.

• If you have been scammed by email, as well as contacting your bank, also report the incident to independent non-profit organisation Netsafe www.netsafe.org.nz, which aims to promote confident, safe, and responsible use of online technologies in New Zealand.