Many people in the Laramie area have recently received fraudulent emails notifying them of a Notice to Appear in Court or of jury duty. Janice Sexton, Clerk of District Court in Albany County, says her office has received multiple reports of these emails, and she wants the public to know that her office never reached out to people via email.

The emails often provide a date and a time to appear and request that people open an attachment for further information. Sexton warns that these attachments are also fraudulent, and should not be opened.

In both instances, emails are often warning people that they may be fined or imprisoned if they do not appear. This technique can scare people into clicking on something that is dangerous.

“It’s very intimidating when you get something from the court and they say that you’ll be arrested or you must appear, and so it’s understandable that they get nervous and maybe click on it,” says Sexton.

At least one of the emails has been signed by someone claiming to be the court clerk with the name ‘Wade Hall’. Sexton says no person by the name of Wade Hall works in the District Court Office.

Sexton adds that the Office for the Clerk of District Court never initiates contact via email. If someone is summoned for jury duty, one of the clerks will make contact through telephone rather than electronically. Furthermore, those clerks will speak directly to the person who must serve jury duty and will not leave messages on answering machines or with others unless it is to notify the person to return a call.

Sexton notes that the Clerk of District Court is not the office that notifies people of upcoming court appearances. If anyone is to appear in court, they will likely learn about it through a signed order from a judge which is physically mailed. Otherwise, they can hear about the appearance through their attorney. Sexton also notes that a Notice to Appear in Court is not the first step in the judicial process. People will have knowledge of the proceedings before receiving a Notice to Appear, and that notice will not be provided via email.

If you receive any such fraudulent email, Sexton advises not to open any attachments and to call the Albany County District Court Office at (307) 721-2508 to report the activity.