Before phishing emails started showing up in our email inboxes, virus scams were common. A virus hoax is a message that appears to alert you to a virus that does not exist. The 2008 “Postcard from Hallmark” email is a typical example. Like its predecessor, the “virtual card for you”, it contains telltale signs of a virus hoax and a link to a Snopes that is worded to make the reader believe that the hoax warning is legitimate. It is not. While greeting card scams do exist, they bear no resemblance to what is described in this scam.
The ‘Halmark Virus Post Card’ Hoax Email
This scam email usually goes something like this:
THIS IS REAL…
I have checked out Snopes (URL above:), and it is real!!
Get this email sent to your contacts ASAP.
PLEASE ADDRESS THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS!
You must be alert for the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment titled `POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK’, regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus that opens A CARD IMAGE, which `burns’ the entire hard drive `C’ of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your email address in their contact list. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you get an email called ‘POSTCARD,’ even if it was sent to you by a friend, don’t open it. Shut down your computer immediately.
This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus of all time. This virus was discovered yesterday by McAfee, and there is no fix for this type of virus yet. This virus simply destroys Sector Zero of the hard drive, where vital information is stored.
COPY THIS E-MAIL, AND SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS. REMEMBER: IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM, YOU BENEFIT ALL OF US
Scams are a waste of time and money. Do your friends and family a favor and don’t give it to others. Phishing emails and scams are attempts to obtain your personal information and the information of your friends, possibly for nefarious purposes that could involve identity theft or financial loss.
How to protect yourself from scams and phishing emails
Email scams are a part of life on the Internet, but you can take steps to minimize your exposure to scams and phishing.
- Do not trust any unsolicited email. suspect.
- Don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t know well.
- Use your email program’s spam filters to filter out problem emails before you see them.
- Be especially wary of email attachments. If you click one, it may be launching a program.
- Keep your computer’s antivirus software up to date.
- Use a personal firewall and keep it up to date.