Online banking fraud increased in Belgium in the second quarter of 2019, after slowing down in the early part of the year, according to a report issued on Friday by the Belgian financial sector federation, Febelfin.
Between April and June, 1,810 persons fell victim to phishing fraudsters, a 52% increase on the first three months of the year. The total amount they lost was €1,919,540, with individual losses ranging from €0.99 to thousands of euros.
It is important to inform consumers of the dangers of phishing and the fact that scammers constantly find new ways to swindle people, using e-mails, messages on social media, pop-ups and telephone calls to obtain identity data, bank card numbers and PIN codes, the federation stressed.
Febelfin recalled a few ground rules for protecting oneself against this type of theft: never give out one’s bank details by telephone, e-mail or on social media since banks would never use such channels to request information; ignore messages leading to false sites; and only make wire transfers with your bank’s usual application or through a secure site.
Fraud victims can contact their banks and Card Stop to have their cards and/or bank accounts blocked.