A fraudulent e-card could be in your e-mail inbox right now.
It's disguised as a Hallmark e-card from a friend and looks okay Hallmark is warning customers that it will launch a type of Trojan virus. The attackers can then gain access to your computer. Experts recommend keeping a virus scanning program updated because there are new threats every day.
"Now they have things they call a blended threat, where you're looking at spyware and I've seen reports of spyware, 1in 6 is attempting to steal confidential information," says David Pickens with Computerland Network Technologies.
Hallmark says legitimate e-mails will say the name of the sender and not just a generic "friend." Also, real ones will send you an e-mail notification from that sender's address and not Hallmark.com.
How to tell if a Hallmark e-card notification is real:
1. The subject line of legitimate e-card notifications from Hallmark will say, "a Hallmark e-card from (name of the sender)" not a generic term like "friend," "neighbor" or "family member.
2. The e-mail notification will come from the sender's e-mail address, not Hallmark.com.
3. The notification will include a link to the e-card on Hallmark.com as well as a url that can be pasted into a browser.
4. The url will begin with http://hallmark.com/ followed by characters that identify the individual e-card. Hover your mouse over the words "click here" in your e-mail. If you do not see the url above, it is not a legitimate Hallmark e-card.
5. Hallmark e-cards are not downloaded and they are not .exe files.
6. In addition, Hallmark.com will never require an e-card recipient to enter a user name or password nor any other personal information to retrieve an e-card.
E-mail safety tips: