The Ohio Attorney General's Office says it has receivednearly a half dozen complaints so far this year from people who say they havereceived suspicious emails that claim to be a court summons or document.
"It basically gave me a court number for a pre-trial notice. And it said'Hereby We' and that's where it cut off because I never opened up thatone," said Lois Reese, of Worthington.
Reese, a business owner, is among those who filed a complaint with DeWine'soffice. She says she received a total of three emails.
She said she dismissed the first email, but when shereceived a second one, she thought it might be legitimate. Still, the mother oftwo daughters says her instinct told her something was not right.
"I thought well 'What did I do? Did I have a traffic accident or what didI do?' And I couldn't think of anything. So that made me very suspicious atthat point," Reese said.
According to a report from DeWine's office, Reese was told that a real courtsummons would arrive in the mail on paper.
The fraudulent emails frequently list out-of-state courts including New Yorkand Georgia and ask you to download a file which allegedly has court papers youwill need. Experts say the file will have a virus. Links may also possibly askfor personal information or fine money.
The Attorney General recommends never downloading or clicking anything in asuspicious e-mail, touting the slogan "Think Before You Link." If yoususpect an email is a scam, DeWine's office recommends running the subject ofthe email through a web search and include the word "scam" to see ifothers have received something similar. Experts also point out that scammersoften make their fraudulent emails look very close to those sent by legitimateagencies.
If you would like to report a scam you can contact the Ohio Attorney General'sOffice at 800-282-0515.