Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bogus e-greeting cards

Bogus e-greeting cards `phishing' for your data

Next time you find one of those electronic greeting cards in your inbox from Hallmark, examine it carefully. Instead of offering good wishes, it could be a ``phishing'' scam designed to steal your money, credit-card numbers or identity. Customers alerted Hallmark Cards to a bogus e-card notification in circulation that is ``strikingly similar'' to the real thing, said Kristi Ernsting, spokeswoman for the Kansas City, Mo., card company. The phony e-card alert reports to be from Hallmark and instructs the recipient to click a link to view the greeting. Clicking the link to the e-card could trigger installation of a virus or spyware, helping thieves capture private information. With legitimate e-cards, the e-mail notification comes from the actual sender's e-mail address. In addition, the subject line in a legitimate e-card includes the name of the sender. A bogus e-mail says "You've received a Hallmark E-Card" or "You've received an E-Card from a family member". The best idea is to send and receive cards via the Post Office, not from the Internet. I receive hundreds of emails per day, but in the last few weeks I have received about 10 bogus E-cards. Best idea "Don't Click" and make sure you update your virus and spyware programs. A safer email program is Thunderbird. Its free and you can download it from:
If you do not have a virus program one of the best is AVG, it is also free and you can get it here:
Ad Aware is a free program to help you remove spyware and malware from your computer. Get it here:
Please do not click the pop-ups that claim you are infected with spyware. These are bogus and only plant trouble to no end on you system.