Scam of the day – June 17, 2017 – Father’s Day scams

Tomorrow is Father’s Day which for many people is an opportunity to show our fathers how much we love and appreciate them, for scam artists, it is yet another opportunity to scam people.

One of the most common Father’s Day scams involves e-cards which are great, particularly for those of us who forget to send a Father’s Day card until the last minute.  Identity thieves send emails purporting to contain a link to an electronic Father’s Day card, but instead send malware that becomes downloaded when the victim clicks on the link. This keystroke logging malware enables an identity thief to steal personal information from the victim’s computer that can be used for purposes of identity theft.

TIPS

Never click on a link to open an e card unless the e card specifically indicates who sent the card. Phony e cards will not indicate the name of the sender.  Even if the sender is someone you recognize, you should independently confirm with that person that they indeed sent you an e card before clicking on the link.

Scam of the day – February 13, 2013 – Valentine’s Day e card scam

Valentine’s Day is coming tomorrow and with it will be many electronic Valentine’s Day cards.  They are quick and easy to send.  Even more importantly, if you have neglected to get a card for your sweetheart until now, you can send an e card and it is right on time.  Electronic cards can be quite clever and attractive, however, identity thieves are aware of how popular e cards are so they take advantage of this toward their own illegal ends.  Phony e cards often come tainted with a dangerous keystroke logging malware program so when you download what you think is an electronic Valentine’s Day card, what you actually are downloading is malware that will read and steal all of the information on your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

The first thing to do is to check the email address of the sender of the card, however, be careful to read it carefully because sometimes identity thieves use close variations on the names of legitimate card manufacturers.  Most tellingly however, legitimate e cards will always tell you from whom the card is being sent.  Phony email cards will generally say something like “a secret admirer.”  Never open an e card from a secret admirer. Frankly, before opening any e card, it is a good idea to communicate with the person who is puported to be sending you the e card to confirm that indeed he or she really has sent you an e card.  It may sound a bit paranoid, but even paranoids have enemies.

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.