E-cards not always a friendly hello - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

E-cards not always a friendly hello

Internet scams come in all shapes and forms.

In an instant they can grab what you think is secure information.

The latest scam on the block? E-cards!

E-cards are easy ways to send a birthday wish or thanks, but they're also easy ways for criminals to snatch important numbers and passwords.

It happens so fast you don't even realize it.

Instead of receiving a birthday wish, it's a scam sending you into trouble.

"We want people to really be aware and cognoscente of their emails that they actually open up," says LeJaun George with the BBB. "When you click on the link it's going to be a damaging hyperlink that's going to download software on your hard drive in a matter of seconds to record your keystrokes."

It's sounds complicated but for a criminal it's easy.

The program monitors keystrokes and when it finds certain ones that seem consistent it records them.

They're keystrokes that you might use everyday, such as your social security number, bank number, date of birth, and passwords. 

"If the consumer doesn't verify the sender and the subject line they could lose more information than they possibly can imagine, all from the cause of an e-card," says George.

George says most reputable e-card companies will have the sender's name in the subject line.

If it doesn't, or you don't recognize the name, don't open it.

If you've been the victim of an e-card scam and you think you might have a virus on your computer, contact your computer software specialist.

You can also call the BBB to report the email address you received the card from.

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