Better Business Bureau Alert: Fake Court Orders to Arise

CHICAGO, IL – A scam email that orders recipients to appear in court has resurfaced. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing an alert to consumers regarding spam emails that claim to come from local Court Systems. The emails generally have a subject heading with the recipient’s name and the title “Notice to Appear in Court”. The message states that they are to appear in court to answer to “unspecified” charges.

The message may also instruct the recipients to bring documents and witnesses with them. They are warned that the case will proceed without them and that they may be sanctioned if they don’t appear.

There is a supposed “court notice” attached to the email, which will likely download malware onto your computer if you click it. Once loaded onto your computer the malware can trick consumers into purchasing fake virus protection as well as find important personal information such as passwords and other personal or financial information.

“Unless you have supplied the Clerk of the Courts with an email address, they would not use that method of contact,” said Steve J. Bernas president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “If you have any concerns about issues with the court, do not click on the attachment. Contact the Clerk’s Office directly.”

Here are the red flags to look for these types of emails:

  • There has been no U.S. mail correspondence
  • There is no court room number listed
  • The name does not appear in the email

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