It’s not your day in court

“Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing that will take place in the court of Tallahassee in April 02, 2014 at 09:00 am.” Signed, the Clerk to the Court.

Sound official? Like the fake funeral notices we wrote about recently, emails like this have been going around trying to convince concerned — or curious — people to click on the supposed “court notice.”

Don’t do it.

Scammers send convincing-looking fake emails like this with links or attachments they want you to click. When you do, you could download malware onto your computer.

fake email

Malware is short for “malicious software." It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

If you get an unexpected email like this, delete it. Don’t click on any attachments or links. If you’re not sure whether it’s real, you can always contact the court, company, or agency it claims to be from directly.

But what if you already clicked on the attachment?

  • Stop shopping, banking, and doing other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.
  • Update your security software, and then run it to scan your computer for viruses and spyware. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  • If your computer is covered by a warranty that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer.
  • If you can’t solve the problem on your own, consider hiring a company — some are affiliated with retail stores — that offers tech support on the phone, online, at their store, and in your home.

For more, read Malware and follow these computer security practices.

Last but not least — if you’re been targeted by a phishing email like this, forward it to spam@uce.gov. If you might have already been tricked by a phishing email, file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft, and there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Comments

Frankly a court date in Tallahassee with this state's public officials would have to be reviewed by a higher court if it could be verified that the Supreme Court does indeed believe all citizens of this country are equal and deserve equal protection under the laws like the 14th amendment promised. And yes, the DCF official that warned me of Satan's work told me not to read Bush vs. Gore 2000 and admitted they undid my and my families work already. There, go with Sandy, because she's honest by gosh!

Fortunately for me I got my summons by post. Letters from bailiffs, international lottery wins and hordes of junk mails.

I got one of these e-mails. What I did was save the zip file to my hard drive and look inside it. I saw that the file inside was an .exe file, not a pdf or jpg so I deleted everything.

I received a scam call earlier today from a cell phone #408-209-3564. The person on the phone (a phoney Lt. Mike Stevens) said I missed a court date for jury duty and there was a warrant out for my arrest. He started to state there was a Judge White that I need to contact to get the warrant stopped and if I could use the Green Dot Money Card to send money. I asked him if I could put him on hold and tried to contact the local PD (to no avail). They said to contact this site. So I am letting your department know.

Hi sanjosecitizen,

Thanks for sharing your story. To file a formal complaint with the FTC, just go to ftc.gov/complaint.

Gor a phone call that I was going to be served tomorrow between 3-5 pm in my residence AND place of employement. However, I could STOP this action by calling 443-282-1542. Since I have Google Voice, I checked the number where the call was originated (it was a no caller ID) and the phone number was most likely a VOIP 65029007431087744062. Unbelievable! I mean I get these phone calls everyday. I looked for the 443 number and it has no business attached. Howwver, upon further review, I could track the use of the number to stores in Michoacan, Mexico. I am soooo tired of this.

i received a call yesterday from this same number stating that i had a past bsnking transaction that can effect my curent banking situation. I called them they said i was going to be servred papers if i did not pay they money that i owed to a old pay day loan company that i am sure i payed yeats ago. What should i do?

This may be a situation of a "phantom debt". We've written blogs about this before. You can also find tips on how to handle the fake debt collector here.

got a phone call at my job from 718-412-0086 stating they are the dept of investigation and want me to give my address to receive papers or call 877-742-6623.

I received a call recently saying that I owe money to a payday loans company, and if I didn't act right away, I'd be arrested. However, I did not apply for a loan of any sort. I keep getting repeated calls from a 716-240-0028. I blocked this number, but it still comes through. Thought you guys should look into this.

Wells Fargo Bank has stolen $233.00 directly out of my wfb ckg acct on feb 03,'14..wfb bus
Ckg acct recds prove I owe them $0.00.wfb has

Today I received a call from a Liam Ebner claiming to be an attorney. He asked me for my attorneys information stating that I am being sued for fraud. I asked him how come I was not aware of this and he told m that I was notified through email. He stated if I did not pay $1000 that I would be served at my placeof employment. The number he called me from is 305-507-4370 and 305-507-4768. When I googled the number it shows that it is a landline in miami and the onwer is mci metro ats inc

I got a call from Jury Selection Services who claimed they were a 3rd party for the courts. I call bull. I looked on the court website and found this!! Turns out they rarely even use social security numbers.

Important Notice about Identity Theft Scam
Since summer 2005, courts around the country have reported a new identity theft scam. Callers who say they are from a local or federal court or police agency threaten people with arrest for missing jury duty unless they provide specific personal information such as address, Social Security number, birth date, and other specific information.

Oregon residents continue to receive these calls, as do people in other states. They had not been summoned for jury duty; they had not missed jury duty.

This is a scam.

Our courts do not call jurors who have missed jury duty and do not call jurors to ask for personal information over the phone. Rarely does the court need a juror's Social Security number. When the court does need that information for reporting certain payments for jury service, the court will never require you to provide it over the telephone.

If you have received one of these calls and have given out personal information, monitor you account statements and credit reports carefully. If any unauthorized charges are made, report the theft to local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 or http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/. In addition, contact a credit bureau to request that it place a fraud alert on your credit history.

I have received dozens of phishing e mails over the last few months and have deleted them all. Today I got a" warrant to appear" email so I am forwarding them ALL to spam@ice.gov. sick of this.

I have to and I just deleted it .

Anything official such as a summons or notice to appear in court, or anything having to do with the judicial system or law enforcement will be in writing in the mail or delivered in person. Even if you get it in the mail, look up the court or agency's phone number (they may have provided a fake one), call them and ask to verify the information. Better yet, go in person and show the police what you received to verify if it is real. Just delete those emails, and if you happen to click on one, definitely do not open any attachment!

I got a call from someone claiming to be with "worldwide locating service" stating there are legal documents pending against me and I need to call this number within the hour or unspecified bad things will happen to me ( legal stuff) got an answering machine when I tried to call the number.

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