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Twee hackers die proberen geld te stelen door nepsites te maken en phishing mails te sturen

Tips to spot fake websites and phishing emails

Scammers try to steal your money in many different ways. They try to fool you into divulging your personal details or transferring money quickly. Be alert and don't fall for these scams. Read our tips below on how to spot fraudulent websites, messages and phone calls.

Spotting fake sites

If you are unsure whether a bank's website is legitimate, first check that the web address (URL) is correct. To do so,

  • check if it is complete. It should always start with "https://". If the letter "s" is missing, or if you don't see a padlock in the address bar, it is a spoofed - or fake - website.
Illustratie phishing
  • Also check that the name of your bank in the web address is spelled correctly.
  • Use checkjelinkje.nl to see if the address really does belong to the bank.
  • If you are unsure, do not respond, leave the website and contact your bank. Go to your bank’s genuine website for contact details. Do not use contact information on the fake site.

What is phishing?

Phishing scams use spoofing techniques to obtain your information. They use your personal details to make money or to steal your money. Phishing scams come in many shapes and forms: 

  • an email or letter, for example. Scammers will use your bank's logo and tell you to go to a website immediately, for example, to prevent your account from being blocked. A link or QR code will take you to a spoofed website that looks like your bank's. They will ask you to type in your login codes
  • in a phone call or a text or chat message, e.g. WhatsApp. Under false pretence, scammers will ask for your details and login code. Or they may ask you to transfer your money to a safer bank account.

How to spot a fake email

These tips will help you spot fake emails. The following features should make you suspicious of an email you receive:

  • In the sender's address, the name after the @ sign is different from that of your bank.
  • The email is not addressed to you personally.
  • The sender asks you to do something immediately or else things will go wrong or you might miss out on an opportunity.
  • You are asked to enter your login details after clicking a link or scanning a QR code.
  • The email has a ZIP or RAR file attached.
  • The email contains a link to a website that is not your bank’s. Therefore, always check the web address. Hover over the link, but do not click on it. This will display the full web address, possibly at the bottom of your screen. Also check out our tips to spot fake websites (above).
  • Your bank's contact details are incorrect. You can check this on your bank's real website.
  • The email has spelling errors.

Tips for spotting fake phone calls or text messages

Scammers may pose as a bank employee. They will call or message you, and  sometimes you will even see your bank's phone number on your screen. They always have some kind of excuse to get you to do something quickly, claiming that otherwise things will go wrong. For example, you need to transfer money straight away, or they ask you for your PIN or login details These are all signs of fraud. 

Never act on suspicious messages from your bank

Remember: your bank will never ask for your details, login code or to transfer money. If you do not trust a message, simply do not respond. This means you should:

  • not provide any personal information
  • not transfer money to a “safe” or “escrow” account
  • not open attachments or click on links
  • report to your bank that you have received a suspicious message.
  • Check the website of the Dutch national anti-fraud hotline (Fraudehelpdesk) for warnings of phishing or spoofing scams.

What if you did respond to a phishing message?

Take immediate action: contact your bank immediately to have your debit or credit cards blocked. If you have lost any money, report it to the police. You can also contact the Dutch national anti-fraud hotline (Fraudehelpdesk).

Suspicious phone calls or messages from DNB

There are currently scammers pretending to work for DNB. They may approach you with fake emails, text messages and phone calls. This is called spoofing. An example: Scammers may call you out of the blue and say something is wrong with your bank account. They want you to install special software on your computer and ask for your PIN codes. You will see a DNB phone number on your screen. The scammers will refer you to our website where you will see the same phone number to convince you someone from DNB is calling. Scammers will also send you requests by email or text message, for example, to transfer money quickly. A fake email is currently circulating from scammers posing as DNB director Olaf Sleijpen, asking you to scan a QR code for 3D security. Do not scan the code! If you receive messages or phone calls on behalf of DNB, always remain alert. Remember: DNB will never ask you for your PIN code or to transfer money.

More information

For more information, go to www.veiligbankieren.nl. This is a Dutch-language website provided by the Dutch Banking Association. Or check out the website of the Dutch national anti-fraud hotline (Fraudehelpdesk) or the government’ s Dutch-language veiliginternetten.nl website.

De Nederlandsche Bank supervises banks in the Netherlands. Read more about our Supervision of financial institutions.

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