To the Editors:

A couple of days ago, my wife received an email message from a good friend, asking to get gift cards for her niece. It was not well written and appeared to be a feeble attempt to steal money since it asked for multiple gift cards, and then asked to have the cards’ passcode exposed and a photo of the cards with the codes exposed sent to the criminal. This is a very obvious ploy to get the money from the cards almost immediately. The police indicated there were complaints from several residents of this happening.

This type of scam occurs when someone sends an email with a long copy list, so that both the sender and recipient addresses are harvested from the copy list as received by a third party whose email was hacked. Although it is impossible to know the source, it is always important to prevent this from happening, if the original sender had used blind copies. Yes, there are times when the address list should be shown if replies to the same group are desired. But otherwise, blind copies gets the message to the same people but does not publish their addresses. Blind copy is an option in any email program.

Phil Richards