Hey Cheyenne! Here’s Another Email Scam to Watch Out For
These are getting a little old.
Is it just me, or are most of your correspondences nothing but a bunch of spam. Most of the time when my phone rings, it's a fake number claiming my factory warranty is about to expire. Other times, it's a text message from a random number asking me for $50. And then there are the emails about fake Amazon deliveries.
They're all the same. They smell fishy and they are fishy. They give you just enough vague information to make you feel like it's legit, but all they want is to steal you money and your information.
With all the technology out there, you would think we could put an end to this, but I digress.
Beware of this email containing a fake court summons.
Let's break down why this is a total scam.
1. This is not how the court system works
If you've ever been summoned for jury duty, you know that the court does not send you an email. They send you a very official looking letter that's been stamped with a special raised seal in the mail. You panic for a second and then realize it's just jury duty and then you get annoyed. You're not going to receive an email and you're certainly not going to get an email from an address like "firstname.lastname@example.org."
2. They didn't use my name in the email
This is a pretty safe way to sniff out a phishing email. If the sender doesn't use your name directly, there's a good chance they either don't know it or they are sending out generic mass phishing emails. Another way you can tell it's fake is if they misspell your name. When it comes to legitimate cases within the legal system, they won't get your name wrong.
3. The grammar is terrible
"Hereby we inform you that you are suspected of violating of the Federal Law..."
"In case you or your attorney are not able to attend to the court..."
"...please inform us by sending a respond here."
"with the specified reason reason for..."
"You have to respond not later than..." These sentences don't make sense and are grammatically incorrect. Again, if it's official business, they will have at least used Grammarly beforehand.
4. There are no concrete details
Again, if you've ever been summoned for jury duty, you know they have all of the details. They'll tell you the exact court room, court room location, and the city and county the courthouse is in. This stuff is serious business and they don't play around. This email doesn't even provide a specific date for the hearing, it just says "next week at 3:30PM."
5. They want you to click a link to get the details
Never click an unexpected link or one found in a very vague email. You're just asking for trouble. If you're unsure about something you can Google things in the email. In this case you can Google Title 16 USC 8763. I did that and that title has to do with conservation and national parks. Judging that I haven't been to a national park in forever, I think this is a phony email. I also Googled the "Chief Secretary Prosecutor" and found several articles about this being a phony email so that confirmed things for me.
Remember if you ever doubt that something is real, do your research. And as a general rule of thumb, if it smells fishy, it probably is. We've got to protect ourselves from things like this because it doesn't look like they're going away any time soon.