State court officials warn residents of fraudulent emails

MADISON (WITI) -- Wisconsin court officials are advising residents to be aware of a recent spate of fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to require the recipient to appear in “the court of Washington.”

Recipients are advised in the message to open an attached file, which may infect computers with a virus or malware. The scam has been reported since late December in jurisdictions nationwide, including Wisconsin.

Washington County (Wisconsin) Clerk of Circuit Court Theresa M. Russell reported Wednesday, January 15th that her office has received more than 100 calls from people who received the seemingly important message regarding an upcoming court hearing.

Russell said the messages are not legitimate. Anyone wanting to verify an upcoming state court appearance in Wisconsin may check online on the Wisconsin court system’s website at    or contact a particular county clerk of circuit court office directly.