Morphed “A Card for You” Hoax Pulls Virtual Bait and Switch

An old virus hoax stumbles back to virtual life with a debunking bait-and-switch that points to a real threat, then repeats the same tired warning.

Date Captured: 8/6/07

Subject: Serious Virus Threat per CNN Report Be cautious of this. Here is a link to the snopes page:


A new virus has just been discovered that has been classified byMicrosoft as the most destructive ever. This virus was discovered yesterday afternoon by McAfee . This virus simply destroys Sector Zero from the harddisk, where vital information for its functioning are stored.This virus acts in the following manner: It sends itself automatically to all contacts on your list with the title:  “A Card for You”.

As soon as the supposed virtual card is opened the computer freezes so thatthe user has to reboot. When the ctrl+alt+ del keys or the reset button arepressed, the virus destroys Sector Zero, thus permanently destroying the hard disk. Yesterday in just a few hours this virus caused panic in New York, according to news broadcast by CNN. This alert was received by an employee of Microsoft itself.So don’t open any mails with subject: “A Virtual Card for You.” As soon as you get the mail, delete it !! Even if  you know the sender !!! Please pass this mail to all of your friends.Forward this to everyone in your address book. I’m sure most people,like myself, would rather receive this notice 25 times than not at all.

“A Card for You” (a.k.a. “A Virtual Card for You”) is a golden oldie, having been around on the net since 2000. The hoax has mutated several times; you can find another variant of this with the “Olympic Torch” hoax.

While the link given in the opening line is for a legitimate virus warning on, the one mentioned in the link and the one the e-mail warns about are not the same.

The real article on Snopes about this email debunks this e-mail as a hoax.

McAfee Antivirus debunks this hoax on their site, and includes several variants, as does Symantec. As you can see from both debunking sites, this version is almost identical to the original save for the deceptive opening link to the Snopes debunking.