Scammers use official looking email that appears to come from law office to trick recipients into downloading computer virus.
It’s bad enough to receive a court summons, and even worse when you know you haven’t done anything (that you know of) to receive one. Of late, an email scam has been perpetuated throughout the WWW that uses a fake court summons to convince unsuspecting recipients to download a zip file that contains “detailed case information”, when in fact the file contains the malicious Trojan Horse virus.
What is the Trojan Horse Virus?
The Trojan Horse is what’s known in the hacker world as a “backdoor”, which can allow malicious programs to attack your personal computer’s hardware and software. It can also contain code that can allow unauthorized access to your private computer files. They are sometimes difficult to eliminate, and in many cases require removal by a professional computer technician.
The virus has been around for many years and is one of the most popular to be used by computer hackers. Here is an example of what a fake court summons looks like when sent by email:
How do I know if a court summons is real?
Sending a summons via email would provide no proof that the party actually received notice. Email addresses can change, be deleted, or transmissions can be interrupted or blocked by the network for any number of reasons. Lastly, the recipient could conceivably simply delete the email message containing the summons and claim he never received it.
A summons normally requires personal service. There is an exception, that is called a “substituted service”; wherein, and if the process server can show “due diligence” in trying to serve a particular party at his/her residence, without success, service can be effected on any warm body at the residence. If one is avoiding service, and it can be proved, and under some very particular other circumstances, the plaintiff can seek a COURT’S ORDER, to publish the summons in a newspaper of general circulation.
If you have questions about a court summons you may have received, especially if you’re not sure where it came from, don’t hesitate to contact our office.
Law Offices of William R. Lively and Associates
23300 Cinema Drive, Suite 2910
Valencia, CA 91355
PHONE: (661) 287-3600
FAX: (661) 287-3605
Antelope Valley Bar Association