Warning: Nasty phishing scam targets business leaders

By April 17, 20083 Comments

What would you do if you received this? Normally, I would have hit the delete key. After all, you don’t get subpoenaed by email.

Then I looked a little closer. It had my name, phone number and the correct email address. Hmm. I moused over the links without clicking and most, but not all seemed correct. I looked up the law firm and they didn’t exist.

Still, I forwarded it to our friends at Invicta Law Group and asked them what they thought.

For a number of reasons they were pretty sure I didn’t need to worry about it.

Then today, I received this message from Stacie Foster at Invicta:

Patrick, you are a genius for catching this. It was so new when you got it that it wasn’t on any of the “webscam” sites.

I know because I checked; it wasn’t even on the court’s website, but apparently now it is.

You are in good company; they only sent it to “larger prey” but it was nasty. If you have time, read the article linked below to see what a mess you avoided.

Spread the word!


Check out this quote from yesterday’s New York Times article, Larger Prey are Targets of Phishing that describes what happens if you click:

…A recipient who tries to view the document unwittingly downloads and installs software that secretly records keystrokes and sends the data to a remote computer over the Internet. This lets the criminals capture passwords and other personal or corporate information.

Another piece of the software allows the computer to be controlled remotely. According to researchers who have analyzed the downloaded file, less than 40 percent of commercial antivirus programs were able to recognize and intercept the attack.

So if you receive the above email, whatever you do, don’t click on anything!

Please spread the word.

Now, let’s get back to Responsible Marketing.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Thanks for the heads up!… But now I’m kind of insulted, ’cause I guess I wasn’t deemed important enough to receive one. Only in the 21st Century: elitist viruses.

  • I got this same thing a couple of days ago. I looked at the law firm it purports to be litigating the case, and sent them a copy. I also looked up the US Court web site (the genuine one) and forwarded it there.

    No, I didn’t click on anything.

    This scam is apparently more widespread than I had realized.

  • victor louis says:

    I have read that this was a recent example of what they call a whaling attack – a phishing attack targeting executives in corporate offices like CEO’s, etc.. There have been many articles and blogs suggesting that this attack was especially sophisticated and difficult for spam filters to catch.

    Remember, that it is not legal to send a subpoena via email unless it has been agreed to by all parties. Also the URL for all U.S. federal courts is “” and not
    “” as listed in the email. So beware of this and other sophisticated phishing attacks. The Abaca Email Protection Gateway ( service was the only service I know that quarantined these emails.

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