Febelfin warns for safe-deposit account fraud

22 October 2020 - 4 min Reading time

Scammers ask to transfer money to a 'safe' account


Fraudsters continue to look for new ways to trick victims. Recently they have been trying to steal money through a new fraud technique: 'safe-deposit account fraud'. The scammers first send a phishing message to gain access to the victim's account. Then they call that person with the advice to transfer money to a supposedly safe vault account. Senior citizens are particularly targeted at the moment. Febelfin emphasizes that such messages and telephone calls are always fake: the bank will never ask for personal codes or such transfers via e-mail, telephone, SMS or social media.

  • Fraudsters mainly approach seniors with the new 'safety account fraud'. Traditionally, they have already built up a considerable capital. Fraudsters also assume that this target group is less familiar with online and telephone scams. The damage is already amounting to several hundred thousand euros.
  • There are some variations, but usually the fraudsters act in two steps:
    • They send their victim a phishing message to get their personal bank codes. If successful, the scammers gain access to the account and can make fraudulent transactions.
    • Then they call the victim, "disguised" as a bank employee. They report that suspicious transactions have been detected on his bank account. To stop the alleged fraud, they advise the bank customer to transfer his/her money to a new, 'safe' account, the so-called vault account.
  • Anyone who receives such questions should realize that this is fake and that he/she is therefore being scammed. A bank never asks for bank codes via email, SMS, social media or over the telephone. She will therefore never call customers asking to transfer money. Febelfin has made a video with additional information and an example of such a telephone conversation.

Scammers @work


Stap 1: phishing message

Safe deposit account fraud often starts with a phishing message (via email, SMS, Whatsapp, social media,…). That message contains a link to a bogus website. There, fraudsters ask for a number of data from their victim, such as name, telephone number, card number and personal bank codes. With these bank codes, the fraudsters gain access to the victim's bank account, make fraudulent transactions and collect information that they can use in the telephone conversation that follows.

Stap 2: phone call

The fraudsters call their victim. Seniors often come into view: traditionally they have already built up a considerable capital and are less familiar with online and telephone scams.

The fraudsters impersonate an employee of the bank and report that fraud has been committed with the account. They do everything they can to gain the trust of their victim. How? For example, they copy the bank's telephone number, they refer to the balance of the account or to a transaction they carried out themselves. They can do that thanks to the personal codes they received through the earlier phishing message.

To prevent worse, the victim is advised to transfer his or her money to a new, so-called safe vault account, that has been opened for him/her. If the customer makes the transfer, the fraud has succeeded. Because the vault account is used to transfer the loot to the fraudster.

How not to get scammed?


The security experts of the banks closely follow the latest fraud techniques. But the customer also holds a number of important keys to protect himself.

Anyone who is asked to pass on personal codes or to transfer money to another account must realize that this is fake. It does not matter whether the question is asked by e-mail, message or telephone. The bank will never approach customers in this way to report a problem with their account. She will also never ask to provide personal bank codes or to transfer money to another account.

I've got scammed...


Please immediately follow these steps:

  • Call Card Stop on 078 170 170.
  • Contact the bank as soon as possible.
  • File a complaint with the police.