Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2011-D Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory
Judiciary Warns of False “Court Case” Email Scam

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Dec. 30, 2013) The Maryland Judiciary wants to warn the public about a computer virus that comes in an email falsely claiming to be about a court case. The Judiciary has learned the email alerts recipients about an upcoming court case; however, the email is a scam, and opening any attachment or clicking on any link in the message triggers a malicious program that infects the recipient’s computer. The email is not from the courts nor is it about a court case.

If you receive an email with a subject line such as “Hearing of your case in Court” or “Notice to Appear in Court,” the Judiciary’s computer experts recommend the following:
--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, according to Judicial Information Systems (JIS), the Judiciary’s technology department. The body of the email may read something like the following example:

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 in 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

If your computer is infected, JIS experts warn, the senders may be able to access and control your computer remotely from anywhere around the world, and may spy on your online activities, commit cybercrimes, or steal personal and financial information.

For more information about protecting yourself from email scams and malware threats, JIS recommends reading “Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams” by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) website, an official website of the Department of Homeland Security.

Link to “Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams”: