Beware of emails with fake court orders to appear at hearings - WFLA News Channel 8

Beware of emails with fake court orders to appear at hearings

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Leery of scams, Avery Leslie goes online to check his bank statements and email every day. So you can imagine how freaked out he was to see an email that said he was required to attend a court hearing in Chicago. The email went on to say he was a defendant in a pirated software case and needed to get a lawyer.

"I was out of town for about two weeks and had four of five of those same trial action emails they were from all over the country, Chicago, New York, Miami, and I immediately erased all of those."

Related content: Federal officials warn of Florida jury scams


Leslie knew better than to open the attachment that came with the email, but he called 8 On Your Side to warn others. It turns out these court orders are an attempt to trick the recipient into opening the attachment, and activating a computer virus.

That virus could harm your computer, or give scammers access to your personal files. Federal authorities warn that crooks are increasingly preying on victims with fake court actions.

"I know that if you're going to get something from a court to appear in court or give a deposition, you get in via registered mail or some kind of letterhead via U.S. mail, and certainly not via an email with an attachment to it."

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