Email Malware Scam Sends Victims To Court

Date:   Sep 25, 2015

File# 15-41484

Victoria, BC – VicPD is alerting the public to an email-based scam that, in addition to exposing information on victims’ computers, is resulting in some people needlessly showing up for what they believe to be an appearance in court.

The “Court Summons” scam has seen a number of people call in or attend the Victoria registry. The callers and attendees state they were emailed and instructed to attend court on a specific date. A file is attached which the victims are required to open in order to view the date and time. Victims are also informed that if they do not attend, the matter would proceed in their absence. Many of the emails contain a signature block from “Randall Anderson, Court Secretary, District Court.” There is no such individual in this capacity in the government phone directory. Upon opening the electronic document, victims unwittingly infect their computer with malware – a form of computer virus.

VicPD was first notified of this latest instance of the “Court Summons” scam by officials with the Ministry of Justice. They advise that, in B.C., court registries send correspondence by mail. While they do help the public by phone and occasionally by email, any document that requires a court appearance is either mailed or served personally, as appropriate, by a peace officer or another adult. In most cases, any court-generated documents that are mailed or personally delivered relate to a proceeding or incident about which the recipient is already aware. Notably, all official court correspondence in B.C. is provided in English.

If you receive an email of this type, the best thing to do is to delete and not open it. It is also best to not open email attachments from someone you do not know. In addition, protecting your personal information with anti-virus software is a low-cost and effective way to keep your information safe. For more information on email scams please visit the Canadian Antifraud Centre at : http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/