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New scam could hit your inbox

JONESBORO —There’s a new scam that could be hitting email inboxes.

Watch out for fake emails informing receivers they are being summoned for a court appearance. The file attached to the fake email is actually malware.

How the scam works

Users receive an email with the subject line “Urgent court notice.” The message says they are being summoned to appear in court: “Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing.” It provides the date, time and location of the trial but no details.

If readers want to find out why they are being summoned, the email urges people to download the attached “copy of the court notice” to find out. Don’t do it. The attachment is malware that will infect the users computer.

How to spot this scam

Courts do not typically summon people via email, text message or phone. Unless the email receivers are involved in a case and have opted into receiving email, courts normally communicate through mail.

Confirm with the court. If there is ever question whether users need to appear in court, call the court system to check. Search for the phone number on the web, don’t call a number in the email.

Watch out for variations. A similar scam tells victims that they missed or are being summoned for jury duty.

Ignore calls for immediate action. Scammers will try to get people to act by creating a sense of urgency. Don’t fall for it.

For more information about this scam, see the public alert from the federal courts website at www.news.uscourts.gov.