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Public Alert: Scam Emails About Phony Court Cases Carry Computer Virus

Thursday, January 16, 2014


The federal judiciary has learned of an email scam, in which emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.

According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the emails are instructing recipients to report to a hearing on a specified day and time. The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for detailed case information. When the attachments or links in the email are opened, a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer. Several state courts have reported similar schemes, and also are warning the public about potential viruses.

Unless you are actively involved in a case in federal court and have consented to receive court notifications electronically, you generally will not be served with court documents electronically.

If you receive an email regarding a federal court case or matter of which you are unaware that is purported to be from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, you should contact the Clerk's Office at (617) 748-9057 before opening any attachments or links.

You may use the court locator ( to find contact information for other federal courts.