A new year brings new email scams and frauds in the D.C. District Courts and state courts.
In addition to emails containing a virus or fake cases, individuals are being targeted with jury scams and arrest warrant scams. The scams tell people that if they don't pay up, they'll be arrested, according to the U.S. District Court for D.C.'s website.
Although you may be having a snow day today, you're probably still checking your email. If you are, be on high alert for scam emails purporting to provide information about a pending district court or even superior court case.
The D.C. Courts are warning residents to watch out for emails they received from email addresses ending in @jonesday.com and @hoganlovells.com. Of course Jones Day and Hogan Lovells are both legitimate firms, but the content in the fake emails isn't. The emails will claim that you have an alleged court date in cases with numbers beginning with the letters NR, according to the D.C. Court's website. Once the email attachment is opened, a virus spreads to your computer.
What should trigger an alarm is that the D.C. Superior Court doesn't have any cases with the NR code, so you should delete them immediately and tell your clients to do the same. If you're still curious about whether or not the email is legitimate, log onto the court's online case database to verify.
Nationwide Email Scams
While it'd be a relief if the email scams were isolated to D.C. courts, it's happening all across the country. For instance, people in the Fourth Circuit are also being preyed upon with fake Jones Day and Hogan Lovells emails that contain a virus. Eighth Circuit practitioners are also facing fake emails purporting to be from a court clerk. Like the other email scams, the body of the email will say that you're scheduled to appear for a hearing and that if you don't attend, you'll be subject to arrest or fines.
While getting all of your hearing dates in order is essential, getting a computer virus is only going to slow you down. So if you receive any fishy, scam-like emails supposedly from the D.C. courts, Jones Day, or Hogan Lovells, delete them and follow up with court for more details.
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- Federal, State Court Officials Warn of Email Scam (The Blog of Legal Times)
- Security Alert: Bogus Court Emails Carrying Nasty Viruses (FindLaw's Strategist)
- 10 Things the D.C. Circuit Taught Us in 2013 (FindLaw's D.C. Circuit Blog)