Stable level of internet banking fraud in 2015, but rising number of bank card phishing cases

22 February 2016

The number of internet banking fraud cases remained at a stable level as compared to the 2014 figure. Febelfin wants to draw the attention to the need for constant vigilance as for the different kinds of fraud and also warns against a new fraud technique: bank card  phishing.

Stable number of fraud cases 

In 2015, the number of internet banking fraud cases amounted to 283, as compared to 277 in 2014. The total amount of money captured was 1,018,000 EUR as compared to 653,082 EUR in 2014.

A remarkable fact is the increasing number of professionals who were victim in 2015 (due to malware). In those cases, the amounts of money captured generally will be even bigger. This trend became apparent in the second quarter of 2015, when no less than a total of 538,899 EUR was captured as a result of no more than 57 cases of fraud. In the second half of 2015, this trend was on the decline however.

Febelfin wants to draw the attention to the constant need for vigilance: do not open e-mails which look suspect, do not react to strange requests made over the telephone and do not type your password or response code on your card reader (or other security device), unless you have decided all by yourself to do so.

Bank card phishing: stay alert!

Fraudsters increasingly use inventive methods for capturing money. One of their more recent techniques is called bank card phishing

The purpose of this method is to get direct access to a consumer’s bank card and the secret codes that go with it. An e-mail or sms is sent to the victim, who will then be asked to  replace his bank card. This bank card is supposed to be sent to a specific address and the secret code is supposed to be disclosed on a website, which of course is a hoax. Once they are in possession of the bank card and the secret code, fraudsters will have no difficulty in stealing money.

One must keep in mind that no bank will ever ask to disclose the code which goes together with a bank card, nor ask to send a bank card. Never will a bank send an e-mail (in combination with a link to a website) in which it asks for an electronic signature. 

Michel Vermaerke, CEO of Febelfin: “All stakeholders who are actively involved, continue to work together and join their efforts so as to ensure cybersecurity. People must show constant vigilance. The techniques used by people one cannot trust, become more and more sophisticated, such as the new method of bank card phishing. So, we recommend everyone  never to send his or her bank card and never to disclose codes to third parties.” 

If, nevertheless, you are the victim of this kind of fraud, you must get in touch with Card Stop (070 344 344) as quickly as possible to have your bank card blocked and to inform your bank.

In case of doubt, you’d better stop 

Safe internet banking, either for private or professional purposes, is not only a matter of using a secured PC and internet access, but also of showing a sufficient degree of intuition. If you feel someting is wrong and you have doubts, immediately cut off the interaction.

The following tips may also be helpful:

  • Watch out for suspect e-mails.
    • Never use a link included in an e-email to go to the website of your bank for the purpose of disclosing your personal codes and/or sending your bank card, even if this e-mail and website look very familiar. No bank will ever ask you to do so.
    • Never click on any attachment or link in an e-mail you do not fully trust (for instance because you do not know who is the sender).
    • Do not react to any request to allow for the implementation of a macro1.
  • If you are banking online and have doubts, cut off the interaction and contact your bank. You should certainly do so, if the log-in or signature process is different from the normal process, for example when you are asked to put your electronic signature under a transaction which you have not asked for personally or under a transaction initiated by the bank you did not really expect.
  • Do you have doubts? Any bank has its own point of contact where you can ask questions about internet banking. You can use the telephone number on the back of your bank card for getting in touch with your bank.
  • Make sure that the security level of your PC is sufficiently high (by means of an
    up-to-date anti-virusscanner and a secured WIFI connection).

Check your statements of account at regular intervals.

More information

Please contact Isabelle Marchand, Febelfin spokeswoman, on im@febelfin.be or on the central press number 02 507 68 31 for more information.

More information about the various methods of fraud can also be found on  www.safeinternetbanking.be.


1A macro is a small software programme which takes over tasks which are very common (e.g. log-in).

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