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Florida Supreme Court Warns Public About Email Scams
TALLAHASSEE – An email scam aimed at bilking people out of money has resurfaced again using fraudulent letterhead that appears to come from the Florida Supreme Court.
It is part of an ongoing series of similar scams stretching back several years that often mention locations in the western Florida Panhandle like Shalimar and Gulf Breeze.
Many of the intended victims are located outside the United States and are unfamiliar with Florida law.
“Most of all,”
“Most of all,” said Court communications director Craig Waters, “the courts in Florida never send out real legal notices by email. If you get an email asking for money because of some court document or saying you violated a court order or other legal obligation, you should check further before taking any action.”
People who want to inquire about potential scams can do so by forwarding copies of the email and its attachments to the Florida Supreme Court at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Court’s Marshal’s Office and its legal department are actively investigating all scams that falsely use the name of the Florida Supreme Court or versions of its court seal.
The current scam often says it is related to a Florida legal case involving an inheritance. Or it sometimes may be associated with paying off the legal “debts” of someone who claims to be interested in an online romance and eventual meeting with the intended victim.
Complaints against online scams can be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement through a process described in more detail at: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FCCC/Common-Complaints
In recent years, the number of Florida court-related online and telephone scams has become a significant problem.
Past email or telephone scams have targeted Spanish speakers with threats of deportation, professionals over licensing issues, and the general public for supposedly missing jury duty, among others. One scam a few years ago demanded a court “fine” for “illegal software use.”
Copies of redacted examples of the recent scams are attached to this press release below.