Electronic greeting cards or E cards are great.  While some companies providing E cards charge a small fee, many electronic greeting cards are available for free. They are particularly useful when you have procrastinated sending a card through the mail and need to get a Christmas card, birthday card or anniversary card to someone immediately. They are obviously very popular at this time of year. However, these cards are also a great source of identity theft and fraud.  Emails are circulating in which you are told to click on a link in the email to view an E card purportedly being sent to you by a friend. The truth is that there is no E card and if you click on the link you will download malware that enables an identity thief to steal all of the personal information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft or download malware such as ransomware that will lock your computer, encrypt all of your data and threaten to destroy your data if you do not pay a ransom.

TIPS

A real E card will always tell you exactly from whom it was sent.  Phony E cards do not name the person who sent you the card.  The links in phony emails also generally do not appear to be connected to a legitimate E card company.  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. The best rule to follow is never to click on any link in any email unless you have confirmed that it is legitimate.

Here is a link to an interview done with me by Emily Volz of NBC 10 News in which we discuss E card scams as one of the 12 Scams of Christmas https://turnto10.com/i-team/consumer-advocate/12-scams-of-christmas-malicious-e-cards

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