SUNBURY - The Northumberland County prothonotary warns of a computer scam in which an email about false court cases could compromise the recipient's computer and personal information.

Justin Dunkelberger, prothonotary and clerk of courts, issued a media advisory Friday explaining that emails containing subject lines such as "Hearing for your case in Court" or "Notice to Appear in Court" could contain a computer virus.

By opening an attachment or clicking a link within the email, the virus is triggered and could allow someone remote access to a computer or handheld device, allowing online activities to be tracked or for personal and financial information to be stolen.

An example: "Notice to appear, Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing that will take place in court of Washington in January 9, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.. ... The copy of the court notice is attached to this letter. Please read it thoroughly. ... Yours truly, Alison Smith, Clerk of the Court."

Recipients are cautioned to not open any attachments, to not click any links and to not unsubscribe. Doing so may install the virus. Simply delete the email.