New Holiday Card Scam Targets Chicago Computer Users

What better way to cheer yourself up while slogging away at work this week than by clicking on a cute holiday e-card from a dear friend? Just make sure you recognize the e-mail address, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

Identity thieves have caught on to the popular e-card phenomenon. But instead of spreading holiday happiness, they're sending cards containing viruses and malware. So when you click on a card to download a snow scene, you might actually be installing malicious material on your computer - and risking the state of your finances and credit.

Once installed, scammers can steal your passwords and proceed to wreak havoc, from harvesting your e-mail address to send out spam to accessing personal information like your name, social security number and bank account. Talk about a way to ruin your holiday spirit - not to mention your finances. But there's good news.

It's relatively easy to avoid falling victim to these sorts of financial scams. It all comes down to prevention. Try to follow the golden rule of safe e-mailing: never open messages from an address you don't recognize. If you do click on a suspicious e-mail, by all means, do not click on any links or download attachments.

And don't be fooled by branding - it's easy for scammers to copy and paste logos from businesses. You have to look deeper than that. Read the text. As anyone who's received one of the popular Nigerian bank account-type scams will know, many faux e-mails are peppered with spelling and grammatical errors, since are frequently composed by non-native English speakers.

Protecting your sensitive information is one way to make sure your finances are in good shape heading into 2011. Another way? Bid goodbye to the debt that's been running your life for years. Filing for bankruptcy can help you start the new year off on the right foot with a plan to eliminate debt and stop foreclosure. Need more details? Get them for free with a complimentary personal debt analysis courtesy of a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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