What you need to know about “Greeting Card Scams” and how it could affect you.

Now that we are in the Christmas period, it would make sense to shed some light on another popular scam that is already going around, the “greeting card scam”.  It is important that you are aware of it so that you are careful about opening emails which apparently contain a Christmas card for you. This method is effective because during Christmas, it is likely you are expecting to receive Christmas greetings cards and you might even send some yourself via email.  The trouble is that some of these greeting cards you are receiving could be somewhat deceiving!

How does it work?

You would receive an email which might “look and feel” like it is coming from one of the popular brands such as Clintons, Card Factory or Moonpig, in which there will be text saying something like “A Friend has sent you a Card Factory E-Card”.   The email will then tell you that in order to view the card, you need to click on a provided link to install something like “adobe Flash player” or similar, and then another link for you to be able to view the card itself.

By clicking on these links, you usually end up with some kind of malicious software that is downloaded and installed in your computer, known as “malware”.   Depending on the kind of Malware that has been installed, it could lead to a variety of annoying consequences that range from pop-ups with adverts or unexpected windows popping up on your screen.  In the worst case scenario, you might be infected with a more dangerous version which makes your computer one of the “bots” which are part of a larger network of infected computers and will start sending some of your private/financial data to the IT criminals who are controlling it.

What can I do to reduce my chances of being affected?

First of all, double check to see if the brands that they claim to be coming from even have a service which delivers greetings cards via email, most of them do not!  You should also check the full email address that this email is coming from to see how legitimate it is. If the content of the email is telling you which “friend” has sent you the card, then quickly double check with them to see if it is true.  If you are not 100% certain however, we simply recommend to not risk clicking on any of the links and you you might be better off just deleting the email.

Christmas greetings from the whole team at Direct Telecom!