Numbers 2021: Do not feed the phish

Stay up to date with the latest measures from the financial sector

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We are online more than ever: the corona pandemic in 2020 has further accelerated digital life. The pandemic has brought about several changes, but it has also caused an upsurge in the number of fraudulent messages that are constantly circulating.


Internet fraud is ubiquitous today. Most Belgians have already come into contact with an attempted online fraud. There is certainly also good news: despite the many fraud attempts, the figures for 2021 show that successful phishing fraud has fallen by a quarter. However, we see a shift to other forms of fraud.

Some findings of our study:

  • Research conducted this year by Febelfin together with research agency IndiVille shows that a large proportion of young people are too loose with online safety.
  • A quarter of young people (25%) between the ages of 16 and 30 have shared financial data in the past year that made them feel uncomfortable.
  • Also, 16% of the young people surveyed would without hesitation just pass on their bank codes if their 'bank' asks for it.
  • Moreover, one in four (24%) young people in Belgium has never heard of phishing.
  • No less than 16% of the young people surveyed would pass their bank card or bank details to someone they do not know in exchange for money. That percentage is 7% higher than last year.
  • Very few young people know exactly what a money mule is. Almost 8 out of 10 have no idea and 14% of the young people surveyed think that becoming a money mule is not a criminal offence.