Scam of the day – September 2, 2012 – Phony e cards

E cards, which are greeting cards sent electronically are great.  Hallmark and many other companies offer them.  I have used them, particularly when I would otherwise be late in sending out a birthday or anniversary card.  However, these cards are also a great source of identity theft and fraud.  This week I received an email telling me that I had an e card sent to me and that I could view it by clicking on the link contained in the email.  There was no e card and if I had clicked on the link I would have downloaded malware that would have enabled an identity thief to steal all of the personal information from my computer and make me a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

A real e card will always tell you from whom it was sent.  Phony e cards, such as the one described in the email sent to me do not name the person who sent you the card.  The link in the phony email also had nothing to do with legitimate e card companies.  The safest route to follow if you get such an email is to ignore it if it does not tell you from whom the card is being sent, but even if it does give a first name, you should still be skeptical.  Contact the person to confirm that they indeed sent you an e card before clicking on the link to take you to the card.