Scam Alert -- You're on trial? Watch out for this email scam

You receive an email with the subject line "Urgent court notice." The message says that you are being summoned to appear in court: "Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing." It provides the date, time and location of the trial... but no details.

Want to find out why you are being summoned? The email urges you to download the attached "copy of the court notice" to find out. Don't do it! The attachment is malware that will infect your computer.

How to spot this scam: 

  1. Courts do not typically summon people via email, text message or phone. Unless you are involved in a case and have opted into receiving email communications, courts normally communicate through mail.
  2. Confirm with the court. If you ever question whether you need to appear in court, call the court system to check. Search for the phone number on the web; don't call a number in the email.
  3. Watch out for variations. A similar scam tells victims that they missed or are being summoned for jury duty. 
  4. Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don't fall for it.

For More Information  

For more information about this scam, see the public alert from the federal courts website. To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.    

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Colleen Walsh Fong April 07, 2014 at 05:55 PM
Thanks for sharing this info, Dottie!
Dottie Callina May 01, 2014 at 05:51 PM
Hi Colleen. I'm sorry I didn't see your post until today. It's always my pleasure to post information that keeps consumers from being victims of scams. If I may ever be of assistance to you, just let me know at dcallina@atlanta.bbb.org.


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