Febelfin warns about safe-deposit account fraud and bank card phishing at home

3 October 2022 - 5 min Reading time

The reports of individuals becoming victims of online or telephone fraud, or even home scams, are increasing. People are induced to transfer amounts to a fake account, a so-called "safe deposit account," using a pretext. Alternatively, a supposed bank employee visits their home to address an issue, and they entrust their personal bank codes to them. The fraudster then empties the victims' bank accounts and disappears with the money. This is also referred to as debit card phishing at home. Unfortunately, by the time the victims realise the fraud, it is often already too late.


Febelfin warns of the rising trend in safe deposit account fraud and bank card phishing at home. The sector reminds people that a bank or its employees will never ask for their codes or encourage them to make transfers, whether by phone, SMS, email, or during a home visit.


Safe deposit account fraud: a consistent modus operandi


Safe deposit account fraud, of which seniors are often victims, typically begins with a phishing message sent by cybercriminals via email, SMS, WhatsApp, or social media.

This message contains a link that takes you to a fake website where you're asked to input personal information, such as your name, phone number, (credit) card number, and personal bank codes.

Once you've provided these details, the scammers can initiate their fraudulent activities: they will contact you and pose as a bank employee, explaining that suspicious transactions have been made on your account. Often, they skip the step of using a phishing message and simply call you with great persuasion. They will go to great lengths to gain your trust and may even refer to previous transactions.

The scammers will then offer to transfer your money to a secure account, known as the so-called safe deposit account. However, this account doesn't actually exist. If you still transfer money to this fake "secure account," it ends up in the account of a money mule.

From that point on, the amount you transferred is funneled to the cybercriminals' account.


A fake banker at your door, also known as bank card phishing at home


The modus operandi in this form of fraud is similar to that of safe deposit account fraud: in this case, the victim also receives a phone call from a supposed bank employee. The fake bank employee calls you to explain that suspicious transactions have been detected on your account and offers to come to your home to resolve the situation. The scammer literally comes to your house. The fraudster may then have you log in to your online bank account, making it easy for them to record your personal code. The fraudster now has everything they need to withdraw money from your bank account.


Febelfin's advice to prevent getting scammed:

  • Don't blindly trust the emails or messages you receive! Cybercriminals can easily use your bank's logo or forge the sender's name.
  • Your bank will never ask for your personal bank codes and will never advise you to transfer money to a third-party account via phone, email, SMS, or social media. Your banker will never come to your home to collect your bank card or codes or to resolve payment issues. Therefore, never disclose your bank codes.
  • Never use a link to access your bank's payment site or mobile application. Always manually type your bank's website address into your browser or save it in your favorites list. Alternatively, open your bank's mobile application on your smartphone.

Have you fallen into the trap?

Then follow these steps immediately:

New visuals available


Febelfin has recently created visuals illustrating various forms of fraud (such as safe deposit account fraud and home bank card phishing). The purpose of this visual material (available in Dutch and French only) is to raise awareness and promote understanding of the various existing forms of fraud. The visuals will be disseminated through Febelfin's various communication channels and shared with various partners.