Orange County Clerk of Courts Eddie Fernández is warning of an email scam aimed at illegally gaining the personal information of the recipients. The senders fraudulently claim to be from Clerk’s offices across the state.
The emails reference a missed court or jury-duty appearance and attempt to retrieve personal data through a computer virus attached as a .zip file. These attachments contain a “Trojan Horse’’ virus that becomes active as soon as the file is opened.
Fernández wants to assure residents that jury summons and failure-to-appear notices are not communicated via email, but rather are sent through the U.S. Postal Service.
“If you get an email purporting to be from the Clerk’s Office about jury services or failure to make a court appearance, do not open the attachment. My office does not share information on those issues via email,’’ Fernández said.
“I want to do everything I can to warn residents so no one can take advantage of them,’’ he said, adding that he also has posted the warning with details on myorangeclerk.com.
He asks that everyone keep the following tips in mind regarding this and previous scams:
- The Clerk’s Office does not email or call residents to request payment for missing jury duty. The office will never request payment via any sort of prepaid debit card.
- The Clerk’s Office does not call or email residents to verity information related to jury duty or to notify them that they missed jury duty. Communications are only sent by standard mail.
- If a resident misses jury duty, the individual receives a failure-to-appear notice in the mail from the judge representing the Circuit Court.
- Arrest warrants are not usually issued for failure to report for jury duty. Please contact the Clerk’s Office if you receive one.
- Do not open an email attachment from any unfamiliar source, and never provide personal information to an unfamiliar source, either by phone or email.