An urgent warning has been issued after police were flooded with more than a thousand reports within the space of 24 hours about fake penalty emails.

Here's what you need to know about them - and how to stay safe online.

What is the latest scam?

Action Fraud UK issued the alert after thousands got in touch with the organisation earlier this month.

The fake penalty email scam contains links in the emails which lead to websites that are designed to steal your personal and financial details.

What have Action Fraud said?

In a statement on Facebook, Action Fraud said: "[We] have received more than 1,400 reports about fake emails purporting to be from HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

"The emails state that the recipient has been issued with a penalty charge for 'the use of a vehicle on a road in the charging area which a charging scheme applies without payment of the appropriate charge'.

"The links provided in the emails leak to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information."

Members of the public have been reminded that their bank, or any other official organisation, won't ask to share personal information over email of text.

Those who need to check if it is a genuine message should call them directly.

What should people do if they recieve a fake email?

Those who receive one should report it to: [email protected]