Courtrooms fill with ‘Notice to appear’ email recipients; N#9411-583

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

“Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing …” the notice to appear in court starts.

The email, from, looks authentic and legal. An Internet search shows is associated with a weighty law firm in New York. The request is to discuss the illegal use of software by Valarie Pabalis.

“I’ve got no idea what this is or even if it’s a legal request,” says Pabalis, who is owner of Elements Therapeutic Massage in Meridian. “It says there’s a pretrial notice attached, but I’m confused by the whole notice.”

Idaho residents are calling about emails titled Urgent Court Notice, Judicial Summons, Notice of Appearance, Pretrial Notice, or Notice to Appear in Court, that seem to come from law firms in the United States and UK.  The email has a spoofed addresses, meaning it seems to be from a legitimate law firm.

It is accompanied by a court docket number: N#7685, N#98208, N#9411-583… to mention a few that have come to the BBB office and a PDF or a WORD.doc attachment accompanies the email and should not be opened or unzipped. If it says .EXE then it is a problem and should not be run or opened. If you open the attachment, your computer becomes infected with a malware called, Asprox. Among other things, your computer can be used to spam more people with the malware, commit advertisement fraud or worse.

In U.S. law, process is usually a summons – a paper that tells a defendant he/she is being sued in a specific court. Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure should be delivered in person or “by mail.” The only time the courts will deliberately contact a party via email is to let them know that an appeals court decision is about to be issued and, even in those cases, the persons will be notified by mail.

The IC3 warns consumers of recently reported spam email containing a fraudulent subpoena notifying recipients they are commanded to appear and testify before a Grand Jury. The e-mail attempts to appear authentic by containing a court case number, federal code, name and address of a federal court, court room number, issuing officers’ names, and a court seal.

Recipients are told to click the link provided in the e-mail to download and print associated information for their records. If the recipient clicks the link, malicious code is downloaded on their computer.

The e-mail also has threats with contempt of court charges if they fail to appear. Recipients are also told the subpoena will stay in effect until the court grants a release. As with most spam, the content has multiple spelling errors.

If you receive this type of notification and are unsure of its authenticity, you should contact the issuing court for validation. You can forward the messages to the Federal Trade Commission at or FBI at


1 Comment

Filed under News You Can Trust

One response to “Courtrooms fill with ‘Notice to appear’ email recipients; N#9411-583

  1. Mark Burrows

    All right, I am going to make this real simple. Nothing comes in your email is authentic unless it is from someone whom you are registered to, have agreements in place, and have a standard routine of communication.
    Anything else is blatant advertising, phishing which can be quite legal as well as illegal, and of course scams.
    Some scams are out to take your money away, some are malicious in such that they attack your computer and invade it with adware, malware, spyware, and of course lest we forget, viruses.
    The simple reason we fall victim is we suffer from a very old condition call curiosity, and then when we get stung, we call foul.
    Curiosity comes in many forms, such as greed, desperation, and idle boredom.
    The only way to defeat scams and suspicious emails is learn to overcome and become staunch against being curious.
    There are no what ifs, there are no missed opportunities, there are no ‘I should haves’. Ignore the crap you don’t recognize as being from family, friends, and the usual routine in which the services you use contact you.
    Think about it. Do we have a legally recognized and registered way to accept documentation by email? The answer is no. Thus any such documentation must be hand delivered to you and signed for. If it is delivered by an officer of the law or an officer of the court, then your signature is not required, but you have the right to ask the person delivering the document to present identification to your satisfaction and even retain that officer long enough to make a call to confirm his status, if you are in doubt. Although this will not make you popular with said officer and they may not be so polite the next time you cross their path. So, unless you are a paragon of a law abiding citizen, then I do not recommend delaying an officer after they have provided identification.

    Mark Burrows

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