TALLAHASSEE – An ongoing international email scam aimed at bilking people out of money has resurfaced again using fraudulent Florida court documents. They often appear to come from the Florida Supreme Court.
It is part of an ongoing series of similar scams stretching back several years. They appear to come from locations in Florida like Shalimar but may target people elsewhere in the United States or other nations. Many of the intended victims are unfamiliar with Florida law.
The current scam has targeted people in Europe, including Spain and Sweden, and claims connections with other nations like Hungary and South Africa. All the documents are falsified to suggest they came from the Florida Supreme Court.
Some contained legal terminology not used in Florida, such as calling attorneys “barristers.” They may use other legal words more common in Europe and may cite nonexistent state or federal statutes.
Florida’s state courts do not send out binding official legal notices by email. Anyone receiving emails that reference a Florida court document should never pay money without checking further.
People who want to inquire about potential scam emails 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 other appropriate law enforcement agencies can investigate scams that falsely use the name of the Florida Supreme Court or forge signatures of its judges.
A similar version of the current scam surfaced in early 2019 and was the subject of a public warning at the time. An earlier public warning about other scams were released in 2017, and yet another public warning was issued in 2014.
These previous email and telephone scams have targeted Spanish speakers with threats of deportation, professionals over licensing issues, and members of the general public for supposedly missing jury duty. One scam a few years ago demanded a court “fine” for “illegal software use.”
Anyone receiving such scam documents should report them to local law enforcement. Copies of redacted examples of the recent scams are attached to this press release.