Sunday 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 of an electronic greeting card, what they actually  are sending is malware that becomes downloaded when the victim clicks on the link. A common type of malware sent by criminals is 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.  In other instances, the malware is ransomware which will encrypt all of your data which the hacker threatens to destroy unless you pay a cryptocurrency ransom.

Another Father’s Day scam that appeared last year involved a message on WhatsApp offering free Heineken beer for Father’s Day in return for taking a quiz. This was a scam and was not related to any promotion or campaign of the real Heineken company. The scammer is merely trying to lure you into clicking on a malware infected link which can lead to identity theft or downloading ransomware. Alternatively, clicking on the link may take you to a website where you are required to enter personal information which is then used to make you a victim of identity theft.


Never click on a link in an email or text message until you have independently confirmed that it is legitimate.  The risk of downloading malware is too great.  Even if your computer or other electronic device is protected with anti-virus and anti-malware security software, the best security software is always at least thirty days behind the latest malware.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone when it comes to clicking on links.  Even if the link is contained in a communication that appears to come from a person or company you trust, you should always verify that it is legitimate before clicking on the link. In the case of companies offering free gifts or great deals, you should go to the company’s legitimate website where you can find any real promotion or gift being offered.

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