Fact Check

A [Virtual] Card for You Virus

Information about the '(Virtual) Card for You' computer virus.

Published March 19, 2002


Virus:   A (Virtual) Card for You

Status:   Hoax.


[Collected on the Internet, 2002]

Comment: Worst Virus ever.....CNN announced.


A new virus has just been discovered that has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive ever! This virus was discovered yesterday afternoon by McAfee and no vaccine has yet been developed.

This virus simply destroys Sector Zero from the hard disk, 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 that the user has to reboot. When the keys or the reset button are pressed, 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.

[Collected on the Internet, 2000]

Recently a new virus was discovered that was classified by MICROSOFT www.microsoft.com and by MCAFEE www.mcafee.com to be the most damaging of all time! This virus was discovered late yesterday by MCAFEE and still there is no development of a vaccine!

This virus simply writes zeros on the hard drive, where the vital information for the operation of the PC is kept. The virus activates in the following manner:

1. By email it is received with the title 'A VIRTUAL CARD FOR YOU', when opening the message, it sends itself to all in the address list soon...

2. It hangs the machine, forcing the user to reboot the system.

3. AT the moment in which the keys ctrl+alt+del or the RESET button is pressed, it writes zeros to the hard drive making it unusable forever.

By the previous information, please, take precaution with the use of electronic mail and, of course, if you receive an email which you do not know the origin of, simply delete it without opening.

Please, send this message to the most people possible!!!!

In a few hours yesterday, this virus caused panic in New York, according to CNN www.cnn.com.

Origins:   The original "Virtual Card for You" hoax (now often circulated simply as a "A Card for You") has been making the rounds in various languages since at least 2000, with occasional changes to its text along the way. No such (incurable) virus existed, was identified by McAfee, was reported on by CNN, or "caused panic in New York." This warning is, and always has been, a hoax.

NOTE:   Readers should take particular care not to confuse the "Virtual Card for You" hoax with the real "Postcard" virus that was spread via e-mailed postcards (or greeting cards) starting in mid-2007. Some of the "Virtual Card for You" warnings contribute to this confusion by including within them a link to https://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/postcard.asp, our article about the Postcard virus. The one is not the same as the other, even though some of the attempts to fool people would present them as such.

(September 2006 saw the release of W32Heartworm.A, an MSN Instant Messaging network worm that lured IM users into clicking through to an infecting web site with a message claiming to offer "a virtual card for you." However, that version of W32Heartworm.A was spread through Instant Messaging, not via e-mail.)

Additional information:

Virtual Card for You (Symantec) Virtual Card for You (Symantec)
A Virtual Card For You Hoax (McAfee) A Virtual Card for You Hoax (McAfee)
IM Worm Attack Cloaked in Virtual Card Hoax IM Worm Attack Cloaked in Virtual Card Hoax (Spyware Guide)

Last updated:   13 August 2007

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.