North Carolina's attorney general is warning computer users not to fall victim to e-mail greeting card scams. They can lead to identity theft and possibly disable your computer. It looks like a legitimate e-mail in your inbox -- an e-mail greeting card. But watch out. Opening up the attachment can open you up to the possibility of a nasty computer virus. Best Buy computer expert Rusty Tilghman said, "Any e-mail that has an attachment of .exe, just don't open it. That's a program that will run on your computer." Computer experts say this virus is so new, most anti-virus software programs have not come up with a fix yet. That means the e-mail attachment can actually disable your anti-virus software and eventually disable your computer. So how do you know if you've gotten a real e-card? Most legitimate e-cards require senders to insert their name - so don't open one claiming to be from simply a "friend" or "neighbor." Set up a spam filter to reduce the number of potentially dangerous e-mail coming your way. And just as a precaution, be prepared. "Always make sure you do a data backup. It's always recommended you do that for important stuff once a month," Tilghman said. Bottom line -- if you think you've gotten an e-card that looks suspicious, the best thing to do is dump it in the trash. Computer experts say if you have opened the e-card and think you have a virus, don't do a system restore. That will only make the problem worse. Instead you should take your computer to a tech support specialist.
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