More victims of bank phishing in 2019

5 March 2020 - 3 min Reading time

Banks never ask for codes via a link

  • In 2019, 27.5% more cases of bank phishing were reported than in 2018.
  • The fraud loss in euros fell by 6.9%.
  • In 2019, a total of 7,504,979 euros was stolen via phishing.
  • Banks are calling on consumers to be even more vigilant.
Banks never ask for your internet banking codes via a link.

Much more fraud, less loot


In 2019, 12,432 consumers fell victim to phishing fraud, an increase of 27.5% compared to 2018. If we add up all fraud cases, we arrive at a total net loss of EUR 7,504,979. A calculation shows that in 2019 cybercriminals stole an average of 604 euros per victim. In the vast majority of cases, small amounts are involved, but sometimes large sums are also stolen.

Compared to 2018, not only is the total amount of fraud declining, but also the average loot per victim, which was still 827 euros in 2018. This may have to do with improved fraud detection systems at the banks and possibly higher consumer alertness when it comes to larger amounts, but the battle is certainly not over yet.

The number of fraud cases and the amounts stolen remain unacceptably high, while it is in principle possible to avoid phishing.


Increased vigilance


Cybercriminals are inventive when it comes to tapping into new channels. They send emails, text messages, WhatsApp messages... on behalf of banks, but they also pretend to be other companies such as telecom or energy suppliers.

They also approach consumers via social media and second-hand websites. All these attempts to elicit secret information about internet banking from consumers fall under the heading of phishing.

The banks are calling on consumers to be more vigilant. There is a simple way to prevent online banking fraud: to realize that banks or other companies will never ask for your online banking codes via a link. Not via email, not via Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp or any other channel.

Three ways to avoid phishing

Phishing can be prevented. You are always one step ahead of fraudsters if you consistently respect the rules below.

  • Never give out your PIN or other bank codes via telephone, email, SMS or social media.
  • Ignore messages that take you via a link to a (fake) payment site or a (counterfeit) app or site of your bank.
  • Only make transfers in the bank's trusted app on your smartphone or via your bank's secure website.