It’s easy, it’s affordable but it is also a playground where cyber crooks love to play. It’s an easy way to engineer a scam by playing on people’s feelings. The holidays are upon us and it’s also the busiest time for cyber crooks to brew up their next scam.christmas-ecard-scam

E-cards (or electronic greeting cards) have been more of a danger than a way of saying a few kind words to a friend or family member. Cyber crooks embed code, redirect users to malicious web sites and even try to collect personal identifiable information to steal your identity. One quick and safe way to say kind words is to pick up the phone or use the U.S. post office to send a card.

Most people don’t know the dangers of e-cards and there are plenty of dangers. The most common e-card scam involves e-cards that download Trojans, adware or spyware.  The most dangerous are Trojans as these pesky security threats can be installed without the consent or knowledge of the user. A Trojan virus can wreak havoc on a person’s computer to the extent of stealing passwords such as bank information.

How to spot an e-card scam:

  1. The sender isn’t someone you know
  2. Spelling mistakes
  3. Poor grammar

How to avoid being a victim of a fake e-card

  1. Don’t know who it came from – Delete it
  2. Never click on anything from an unknown source
  3. Never click to accept terms from any company without reading the fine print
  4. Just delete any e-card you receive – you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings
  5. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date

Be skeptical and alert this holiday season!