What's the deal with those "greeting card" emails?

What a lovely surprise, a 'classmate' has sent you an electronic greeting card! How nice.

The only thing is, that "greeting card" may just be hiding nasty little computer viruses that could harm your computer, or spyware that resides on your computer and allows other people to access it without your knowledge.

Some of these bogus e-cards appear to come from the "Greeting Card Association," a real trade group which DOES NOT issue greeting cards, or other legitimate-sounding companies. Often the email's subject line says a "a former classmate" or "a family member" has sent a greeting card.

All of this comes from a recent article by Sheryl Harris in The Plain Dealer entitled, "Greetings! Your e-card may contain a virus." The story appears on page C5 of the edition for July 26.

The author gives ways to tell the real ones from the fakes:

  • A legit card should come from someone you know, and the sender will be named
  • Legit cards DO NOT contain files ending in ".exe"--these files can load bad stuff onto your computer.

For more info read the story. We have that issue of the Plain Dealer. You can access the story at no charge through NEWSBANK
(You may need to enter your library card number to see the story).

UPDATE: AmericanGreetings.com

Hi. Just today (7/31), I received a bogus email from the "postmaster at www.AmericanGreetings.com."

I have received them from "Hallmark.com" as well. Remember, trust whether the name of a sender is included in the email message, not just a brand name. Clearly, these brands have been hijacked.

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