Thanksgiving is just three days away and I want to wish everyone a happy and scam-free Thanksgiving to everyone.
Electronic greeting cards have become very popular and with good reason. Even if you don’t remember a birthday or delay sending a holiday card until the last minute, you can send an electronic greeting card, often for free, and have it delivered immediately. Many electronic greeting cards are quite creative with videos and music, as well. But, unfortunately, you can always count on scam artists and identity thieves to try to spoil anything and electronic greeting cards are no exception. The scam starts when you get a phony electronic greeting card that requires you to click on a link to read the card. If you click on one of these phony greeting cards, you may end up downloading a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of the information from your computer and end up with you becoming a victim of identity theft or alternatively you may download dangerous malware such as ransomware.
One of the first things to notice when you receive an e greeting card is who is indicated as the person sending the card. If it states that the card is being sent by “a friend” or “an admirer,” you can be pretty sure that it is a phony card. However, even if the card uses the name of someone you know, it still is risky to open the card without confirming with an email or a phone call that your friend actually did send you the card. Remember, even paranoids have enemies. Scammers may pick a common name to use as the sender or may even have researched who your friends and family are.
It is also important to keep your security software including anti-virus software and anti-malware software installed and up to date at all times which can help if you unwittingly download malware. However, it is important to remember that the most up to date security software is always at least thirty days behind the latest strains of malware often referred to as those that exploit “zero day defects.”
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