Marlborough, MA - Watch out for fake emails informing you that you are being summoned for a court appearance. The file attached to the fake email is actually malware.
How the Scam Works: You receive an email with the subject line "Urgent Court Notice." The message says that you are being summoned to appear in court: "Hearby 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 about this scam, see the public alert from the federal courts' website.
This Scam Alert has been sponsored by Western Union.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2013, consumers turned to BBB 131 million times for Business Reviews on more than 6.5 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Mexico and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.
Paula Fleming is VP of Communications & Marketing for Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT. Find Paula on Google+.