SCAMMERS posing as a solar panel company are targeting Essex residents, it has been warned.

Essex Trading Standards said 971 reports of phishing emails relating to solar panels had been received by Action Fraud in the past two weeks.

The emails invite recipients to check if they are eligible to receive funding to cover the upfront costs of installing solar panels.

A link in the message leads to a page where victims are asked to enter their financial details or download dangerous malware to their device.

“If you have doubts about a message, contact the organisation directly,” trading standards said.

“Don't use the numbers or address in the message - use the details from their official website.

“Your bank (or any other official source) will never ask you to supply personal information via email.”