Published: Aug 22, 2014 2:31 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 22, 2014 5:43 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Lee County Clerk of Court's office is warning residents of a spike in fraudulent emails that reference a supposed missed court appearance.

Unlike past scams, these emails attempt to retrieve personal data forcefully, by a computer virus attached as a .zip file. These malicious attachments contain a “Trojan Horse” virus that becomes active as soon as the file is unzipped.

Recent examples of these scams have been signed by fictitious county clerks.

Be advised: Court-related communications are sent through regular mail. Jury summons and failure to appear notices are never sent via phone or email.

Important tips to remember:

The Clerk’s office does not call or email residents to request payment for missing jury duty. The office will also never request payment via any sort of prepaid debit card.

The Clerk’s office does not call or email residents to verify information related to jury duty or to notify them that they missed jury duty. Communications are only sent by mail.

If a resident misses jury duty, the individual receives a failure to appear notice in the mail from the judge representing their Circuit Court.

Arrest warrants are not usually issued for failure to report for jury duty. Please contact the Clerk’s office, if you receive one.

Do not open an email attachment from any unfamiliar source, and never provide personal information to an unfamiliar source, either by phone or email.

If you have received any suspicious or unsolicited communication, you are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Fraud/Scam line at (239) 258-3292.