The Pennsylvania judiciary is warning the public about a computer virus that is being delivered via e-mail, falsely claiming to be about a court case.

Court officials in York County reported that a resident received the e-mail over the weekend, and the same scam surfaced in
Washington County earlier this year.

Officials at the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) say the e-mail references an upcoming court case; however, the e-mail is a scam. The AOPC says opening any attachment or clicking on any link in the message may trigger a malicious program designed to infect the recipient’s computer.

The e-mail is not from the courts nor is it about a court case.

If an e-mail with a subject line such as “Hearing of your case in court” or “Notice to  appear in court” appears in the in-box, the AOPC recommends that users

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

  • delete the email

The e-mail appears to be coming from a variety of random sources. The body of the e-mail may read something like this:
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

If users receive correspondence from the courts and are unsure of its authenticity, they should call the county court administrator’s office, according to the AOPC.

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