Reader beware

Naughty: That’s No Postcard, It’s a Scam

There’s a new scam online, and it’s particularly nasty.

Targets receive an email with the subject line: “You’ve received a postcard from a family member!” When they click a link to view their greeting, they are directed to a website that will attempt to download malware — software that infiltrates and can damage computers without the owner’s knowledge.

There are two things you can do to protect yourself:

First, look at the email address. Addresses with goofy character combinations before or after the @ symbol almost always indicate a hoax, spam, or virus. If it looks like a phony address, it probably is.

Secondly, hold the mouse cursor over the link and don’t click. The underlying Web address will usually show up in your email client’s status bar or in a comment window. If the email purports to be from Hallmark and the underlying Web address is, you can assume it is a hoax at best and a snare at worst. You can learn more at



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