Search engine fraud

3 min Reading time

Fraudsters are great at phishing for bank details and they also scam people. In addition to the typical phishing message in your mailbox, they also try to use search engines on the internet as a tool. An innocent search on Google can lead to a plundered bank account.


How does it work?


If you are looking for something via a search engine (eg Google, Bing, Ecosia, etc.), you can be led to a counterfeit website without knowing. You will find a phone number on that website. If you call that number, you will not get a reliable employee on the line, but a scammer. At first glance they will seems to help you, but beware: at the end of the ride they ask you to make a payment, they will take control of your PC and you will be left with a plundered account.

It is also possible that when you search for your bank's internet banking website via a search engine, you will encounter a false website link. If you click on this and enter your bank details and secret code on the fake website, you give the online scammers access to your account and they can loot it.


How can you protect yourself?


Banks and Cybersecurity Center Belgium (CCB) will try to remove possible references to fraudulent telephone numbers or websites as quickly as possible from the search engines. But there always can be a new fraudulent phone number or a new fraudulent website online. The message is therefore: be vigilant. Never give your bank details via e-mail, SMS or as here: telephone and websites. Don't let anyone take over your computer that you don't know. And certainly don't make any payments while someone has taken over your computer. Never go to your bank's payment site via a link. Always type the address of your bank website in your browser yourself.


Victim of search engine fraud?

Please follow next steps:

  • Call Card Stop on 078 170 170 to block your bank card.
  • Contact your bank as soon as possible to block your banking applications.
  • File a complaint with the police.