Important Notice about "Scam" Emails & Fraudulent Phone Calls Claiming to be from the New York State Court System
Always be on the Alert!
If you are unsure of the origin of an email, don’t open it, don’t reply to it and don’t click on any links within the message. Delete the message.
Never provide any personal information to an unknown caller.
Scammers often try to fool the public with fraudulent emails or phone calls that appear to be from the New York State (NYS) court system. It has come to our attention that scammers also fraudulently use the name or title of a Judge, Clerk, or other court staff in emails and will manipulate phone calls so that authentic court phone numbers appear on your Caller ID screen, but the calls are not actually coming from the court system. Scammers also like to pretend that you are being called for jury service. Another hoax involves scammers contacting individuals claiming that that their child is ill or has been arrested. The scammers subsequently attempt to extort money from the frightened parents. It is important to always be on the alert-especially if you do not have a case pending in a NYS court, or do not live in New York State, and therefore have no reason to be contacted by the court system.
- Fraudulent Phone Calls: The NYS Court System never asks, by phone, for financial or family information from members of the public. Do not give this kind of information to anyone claiming to represent the courts.
- Scam Emails: Scam emails typically instruct recipients to report to court on a specific day and time, and they often direct the recipient to bring documents and witnesses with them. They also typically warn that the court may proceed in their absence and that they will be sanctioned if they do not appear. Some emails suggest that you are the beneficiary of a large settlement in a lawsuit and that you need to reply to the email. The emails also may instruct recipients to read a court notice that is attached. The attachment or link may infect your computer with a virus. Do not open the attachment. Delete the email.
- Be on the Alert: if you are not involved in a court proceeding and have not supplied the NYS courts with an email address for receiving court notifications, the courts do not communicate with you by email. The court system does not send unsolicited emails or requests for personal information. The court system does not send emails threatening sanctions if you do not appear in court.
Authentic NYS Court emails are sent from the NYCOURTS.GOV domain (@nycourts.gov)
- Is the phone call or email authentic? If you have a question about whether a notice or a phone call is actually from the NYS Unified Court System, please call 1-800-Court-NY, (1-800-268-7869).
- For more information about online fraud schemes, consult the following websites:
NYS Office of the Attorney General: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet/common-online-scams
United States Federal Trade Commission: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing
The FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
The US Federal Trade Commission:
Times Union: State warns of scammers spoofing government agencies