I got my notice to appear in court and I wondered if you got yours.

I'm not talking about a jury summons. We've all received those notices in the mail and there's no question they are absolutely legitimate. However, this court notice is not.This is nothing but a scam.

I received this email the other day, and I have to admit, initially, it got my attention. Upon further review, however, I was quickly able to determine this was nothing more than a phishing scam.

Here is what the email said.

You have Notice to Appear in Court.

Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing at the county courthouse. Please bring all documents and witnesses relating to this case with you to Court on your hearing date.

To view a copy of the court notice click here. Please, read it thoroughly.

Note: If you do not attend the hearing the Judge may issue a warrant for failure to appear in Court.

Vincent Gambino Baker, Attorney at Law

You'll notice the keywords in the email "CLICK HERE". Those two words are the point of the entire message. Mr. Vincent Gambino Baker is trying to entice me to do the "click" at which point he's either going to infect my computer with malware or he's going to try and get some personal information, such as a credit card number.

Mr. Baker concluded his friendly notice with a threat of legal action if I don't show up in court. The reality is, if I show up for court, they are going to look at me like I'm crazy and ask me why I'm here. No, a click of the mouse is all that Mr. Baker wants from me.

Being the "wise old owl" that I am, I did not take the bait, but instead, decided to take the opportunity to warn others about email scams like this one. Believe it or not, there are some people that fall for these tricks, only to regret their actions later.

I'm pretty sure that if I was scheduled to appear in court I would have been either A) charged with a crime or B) received an official notification from the state or the county. Many times with these scams, a little common sense can save a potential victim from heartache and fraud. Good advice is to always think before you click. And if you think that you truly are due in court, just take a minute and call the courthouse to verify it.

What would have happened had I honored the request to "click here?" Well, we will never know for sure, but, in all probability, it would not have been good. What I do know is that by not clicking I've kept myself safe from the wiles of Mr. Baker and the goonies that are trying to defraud me. Quite often, it is curiosity that will get you in trouble, so when in doubt just leave it alone and move on.

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