Scams & Deception

Beware of Malicious “Notice to Appear” Email

Beware of Malicious “Notice to Appear” Email

A fake “notice to appear” email has been spamming inboxes around the world, infecting many with malware.

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Let’s first take a look at a recent “Notice to Appear” email which has been making the round in June 2014:

Notice of appearance,

Compulsory attendance. You may have the services of a lawyer, if necessary.

Failure to appear may result in the imposition of sanctions. More detailed information regarding the case can be found attached to this letter.

Court agent,
Sharon Smith

The email above has been sent out with a subject that reads “Notice to Appear” and contains an attached file. The email claims that the attachment includes “more detailed information.”

It was not, however, sent by an official agency. The attachment contains one of several malware variants which can infect your computer and potentially harm your files. The official-sounding zip file attached to the email may include a name such as “”

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The urgent tone of the email is meant to alarm the reader, prompting them to forego good judgement and open the attached file in a moment of fear. This email is similar to a fake funeral notice that made the round in early 2014, and a fake eviction notice which has also been circulating.

Keep in mind that the email above does not address you by name or include any personal information as one might expect with an official notice. Further, we haven’t heard of any government agencies which send failure to appear notices via email.

Green Winick Attorney at Law Scam

A variant of the “notice to appear” spam above has been hitting inboxes hard in mid-2014. This message purports to be from Green Winick Attorneys at Law (the email subject cites the name as one word: GreenWinick). This message has an official-looking header and the text:

Notice to Appear,

To view copy of the court notice click here. Please, read it thoroughly. Note: If you do not attend the hearing the judge may hear the case in your absence.

According to Softpedia, if you click the link included in the email, malware will be installed on your computer which could connect you to a botnet and allow hackers to control your system.

Bottom Line

If you received a “Notice to Appear” email similar to that listed above, you are best advised to delete it without opening the attached file.

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