RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Electronic or online greeting cards are growing in popularity, and as we approach Mother’s Day, security experts have noticed an uptick in fake Ecards being sent out by scammers.

When it comes to greeting cards, everybody likes something that’s cute or amusing.  If you can get something like that delivered right to your inbox, that’s even better. 

However, the digital card is being co-opted by scammers to out you at risk. 

Online greeting cards made $714 Million for legit card makers last year, but behind the screen, scammers have taken note. 

“A lot of times attackers have taken the time to craft a reasonable design,” said Cybersecurity expert Jason Ortiz. 

Scammers are now getting consumers through eCards (Steve Sbraccia).

Criminals will even use names and logos from real e-card companies like Hallmark or JibJab to lure you into opening their fake links. 

“What they want you to do is click on that and it can do a couple of things,” said Tim Maniscalo of the Better Business Bureau. 

Among those bad things, a scam Ecard can: 

  • Bombard you with pop-up ads 
  • Send out spam emails from your address 
  • Steal your identity 

ID theft is a growing problem here.

The Federal Trade Commission said last year North Carolina was in the top 25 States for ID theft with over 30,000 reported victims.

Unlike greeting cards that arrive via the mail, the scammers like to hide not only who sent it, but where they are located. 

“They utilize CyberTech to hide behind multiple layers and it makes it very difficult to get co-operation and expertise to actually identify the person or persons responsible,” said Cybersecurity expert Wayne Willcox.

To ensure the Ecard you get is legitimate:

  • Contact the sender to confirm who sent it 
  • Look for a confirmation code 
  • Don’t download any file labeled  “.EXE” 

Sometimes the Ecard doesn’t need to be opened, but instead it will appear as a full screen graphic asking you to donate in the name of your Mom to some kind of charity they’ve created.   

Don’t fall for that ploy because it’s just another version of a scam.