15 June 2023 - 6 min Reading time

Can you recognize a fake phishing message?


The most common form of fraud is phishing. In this method, fraudsters attempt to obtain the bank details and personal bank codes of their victims. Their modus operandi: they send you an email, SMS, WhatsApp message, Facebook Messenger message, or other social media message, containing a link to a - often nearly perfectly replicated - fake website.


If you enter your personal bank codes on that fake website, you give the fraudsters free access to your bank account. Consequence: they run off with your money and you are left broke. So pay attention!

While fraudsters most often "phish" by sending messages, they may also call you by phone. Below we list the most common forms of phishing for you.

#1 Bankphishing


In bank phishing, fraudsters send fake messages in the name of your bank. The content of these messages can vary: you need to renew your bank card, a security update is required, you need to (un)block your bank card, and so on.

All these messages have one thing in common: fraudsters ask for your personal bank codes through a fake link. These are usually the codes you use for online or mobile banking, such as the code that appears on your card reader when making a payment.

So, if you receive a message from "your bank" containing a link to provide your codes, a warning sign should go off: it's fake! Your bank will never ask for your mobile or online banking codes through a link. Not via email, SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp, or any other channel.

#2 Smishing


As mentioned earlier, phishing occurs through various channels. The variant through SMS is called smishing.

Staying within the banking realm, you might encounter Card Stop fraud: Criminals send SMS messages urging you to urgently (un)block your bank card. The supposed sender? Card Stop, but in reality, these are fake messages from fraudsters.

A link in the SMS leads to a fake website where you're asked to provide your banking details. Don't do it, as the result often leads to a plundered account

#3 Phishing in name of other organizations


Fraudsters don't only misuse the names of banks to send phishing messages. They also target other companies that you might easily trust. The principle remains the same: you receive a message containing a link that takes you to a fake website.

Fraudsters try to lure you with various excuses: you receive a voucher, have a chance at an unprecedented discount, can participate in a contest with a great prize, win a gift card, and so on. All you need to do is leave your payment details.

However, there's a catch: the message always contains a link that takes you to a fake website. After a few contest questions, you're asked to fill in your personal banking details. The result? No exciting prize or tickets, but an empty bank account.

Protecting yourself against phishing


Now that you know the various forms of phishing, how can you protect yourself? Always keep these 4 golden rules in mind:

  1. Never give your internet banking codes through email, social media, SMS, or phone. Your internet banking codes are as confidential as your bank card PIN!

  2. Never go to your bank's payment site or mobile app through a link. Your bank will never ask for your codes through a link.

  3. Always type your bank's website address into your browser yourself. You can also save the address in your browser's favorites list. Or open your bank's mobile app yourself.

  4. If you're uncertain, it's better to stop. If you receive a suspicious message and don't know what to do, play it safe and stop everything.

Fallen into the trap?


Follow this steps as soon as possible:

  • Contact your bank.
  • Notify Card Stop ( or 078 170 170) if you've also given card details.
  • File a complaint with the police.

Learn how to prevent phishing


Concerned about the increasing threat of cybercrime and phishing? Safeonweb and the Cybersecurity Coalition have good news for you: they've launched a new online module called "Watch where you're going." Through videos and practical tips, you'll learn how to recognize fraudulent links and protect yourself against cybercriminals.