Emailed Notices to Appear in Court – Fiction!

Emailed Notices to Appear in Court – Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:  

An official email orders the recipient to appear in court and to print off an attachment.

The Truth:


This is scam that infects its victims’ computers with viruses.

These bogus emails first began appearing in inboxes in December of 2013:

Notice to Appear,

Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing that will take place in the court of Washington in January 9, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Please bring all documents and witnesses relating to this case with you to Court on your hearing date.

The copy of the court notice is attached to this letter.

Please, read it thoroughly.

Note: If you do not attend the hearing the judge may hear the case in your absence.

Yours truly,

Nancy Mason

Clerk to the Court.

In some variations, the scammers use a program that inputs the names of cities, court officials and law firms into the email to make it appear more official. That often leads readers to click on the attachment to learn more, and that infects their computer with a virus.

The scam became so widespread in New York that court officials sent out a notice with information about when courts actually do email notices out, and when they do not:

Be on the alert, if you are not involved in a court proceeding and have not supplied the NYS courts with an email address for receiving court notifications, the courts do not communicate with you by email. The court system does not send unsolicited emails or requests for personal information. The court system does not send emails threatening sanctions if you do not appear in court. Nor does the court system send emails that ask you to open attachments in order to obtain additional information.

Many courts don’t even send out email notices. A letter from the clerk of courts may be sent via registered mail or hand delivered to a person who has been summoned to appear in court.