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Reports of phishing nearly doubled in Belgium last year

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Nearly twice as many possible cases of phishing or internet fraud were reported in Belgium in 2020 as in 2019.

In total, 3,225,234 emails were sent to Safeonweb, a website linked to Belgium’s centre for cyber security, in which people flagged suspicious messages, or more than 8,800 per day. Last year, 1.7 million such messages were flagged.

The messages included 667,356 links related to phishing, fake web shops or other means of fraud, representing 7.8% of all links found in the emails.

In addition, out of more than 26,000 attachments, 4,370 contained a computer virus.

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While “cyber criminals seemed extra active during this corona crisis,” only a minority (45,195) of the messages that were sent on included keywords related to the coronavirus.

Most messages were in fact “traditional” ones, as Safeonweb described it – messages related to parcels requiring extra shipping costs, for example.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times