State courts caution against email hoax

June 10, 2014

The Pennsylvania judiciary is warning the public about a computer virus delivered via email, falsely claiming to be about a court case. Court officials in York County reported that a resident received the email yesterday, and the same scam surfaced in Washington County earlier this year.

Officials at the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts say the email references an upcoming court case; however, the email is a scam. Opening any attachment or clicking on any link in the message may trigger a malicious program designed to infect the recipient’s computer.

The email is not from the courts nor is it about a court case, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. Pennsylvania courts do not send court orders via email.

If you receive an email with a subject line such as “Hearing of your case in court” or “Notice to appear in court,” it is recommended that you

· do not open any attachments, click on any links, or unsubscribe. Doing so may install the malware/virus onto your computer

· delete the email

The email appears to be coming from a variety of random sources. The body of the malicious email may read as follows:

From: Notice to Appear

Subject: Hearing of your case in Court NR#6976

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, January 9, 2014 at 10:00 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,

Alison Smith

Clerk to the Court