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Alert: Notice to appear in court email scam

The Business Crime Reduction Centre (BCRC) is warning people about a new email scam that threatens victims with court action [6 February 2014]

Alert: Notice to appear in court email scamAlert: Notice to appear in court email scamFraudsters have been sending out legitimate looking spoofed emails designed to trick recipients into installing malware.

The emails say you have been notified and scheduled to appear for a court hearing, and contains specific dates, times, locations and reference numbers.

It asks you to download a copy of the “court notice” attached. The downloadable.zip file actually contains an .exe file (a file that executes when clicked) containing a virus. 

The email has no connection to the Criminal Justice System and anyone receiving the email should not download any attachments or click any links and report it to us by using our online fraud reporting tool.

Subject headers change frequently

You are likely to see some variations of this email, as it is easy for fraudsters to amend the details and continue targeting people. BCRC’s cyber security specialist said “the email is difficult to block as the subject headers change frequently.”

He also said: “Provoking a panicked, impulse reaction has become a very common scam technique for cyber criminals. Opening the attachment allows the criminal to spy on the victim, use their computer to commit crime, or steal personal and financial information.

For further information please visit the BCRC website. 

Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.