Cyber-security experts warn of ‘tsunami’ of fraudulent texts
Share article:
Share article:

Cyber-security experts warn of ‘tsunami’ of fraudulent texts

© PxHere

The national centre for cyber-security (CCB) has issued a warning of a ‘tsunami’ of fraudulent text messages expected to be sent to phones in Belgium over the coming days.

The practice known as ‘smishing’ – a portmanteau of SMS and phishing, uses text messages to fool recipients into clicking on a link in the message, which appears to come from a legitimate source like a bank.

In some cases, visiting the link is enough to install a tiny piece of software on your phone that allows the crooks to take control from a distance.

In other cases, you may be asked to fill in personal details – such as account number and password – on a false site indistinguishable by the naked eye. Once the details are filled in, the thieves have access to your personal account.

In the light of the techniques used, the advice from the experts is simple: do not click on links you do not recognise. And if you do, never give away private information of any kind.

Banks and other financial institutions always stress that they will never ask for this personal information in a text message (or in an email).

We have received information from a reliable source that in the coming days, maybe even weeks, a smishing campaign will be launched against our country,” said Miguel De Bruycker, head of the CCB, the government agency responsible for the security of the internet.

Why Belgium should be targetted in particular is not clear, he said, but there has been an increase in the number of cases of smishing recently.

In the past, emails were the instrument of choice for fraudsters, but it may be that recipients are more aware. It may also be that we have our phones with us at all times, so may be less vigilant when we get a warning ostensibly from a government office while we are on the street.

In any event, the advice remains unchanged. Do not follow the instructions given. If the message is genuinely from the bank or the government, they will send you a letter.

Suspect messages can also be forwarded to suspect@safeonweb.be.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...