Recognizing fake emails

Recognizing fake emails

What are fake emails?
Fake emails and text messages (phishing messages, phishing mails) are sent by scammers and fraudsters to mislead the recipients. They trick the recipients into divulging sensitive personal information or paying to criminals (or money mules).

For example, using sensitive personal information, such as a bank’s personal security codes, fraudsters can break into their victims’ bank accounts.

To trick victims into paying, scammers send fake invoices and reminders or promise big earnings when a modest deposit is made first (advance fraud).

Learn more about phishing with fake emails and fake text messages here.

How to recognize fake messages

Marc from Safe Banking TV gives you some tips and advice in this short video to recognize fake e-mails.

Note the sender address

Fake e-mails may contain a sender address that is very similar to the address of a well-known, genuine institution or organization but slightly different.

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For example, an O (capital o) can be replaced by a 0 (zero). Or an l (small L) through an I (capital i).

Or where should be (bank name joined together), then (dot between bank and name).

Many inconspicuous deviations are conceivable. If the name after the @ does not match letter by letter with the name the real bank itself uses after @, then it is false. What comes before the @ is not important.

Fake messages with malicious attachments

These fake emails contain an attachment or a link that can download and install malicious software on the computer with just one click. There are several common variants of this malware: spyware, ransomware, and cryptoware. Malware is a collective term for software that does nasty things to your PC or phone, such as a virus, worms and Trojan horses. But also software that injects unsolicited advertisements on your computer and in principle has no negative consequences, is also labeled as malware.

Misleading Emails

Did you win a prize without entering a competition? Chances are you have received a misleading email. Many names of existing companies are misused for the emails. In reality you have won nothing. The criminal tries to steal and misuse your data. For example, you are stuck with an expensive SMS subscription or you have to make an expensive phone call. The companies behind these emails are constantly coming up with something new, making it difficult to stop this deception. Are you tied to such an SMS subscription? Then go to and enter your telephone number. This will stop the subscription.

Report fake emails

You contribute to secure banking by forwarding fake emails and SMS to the bank being impersonated. Help banks to continuously improve the security of their (virtual) services. Banks find it important that customers can bank securely. We are therefore open to experts to support us in this by reporting possible vulnerabilities to us. Look here for the special page on reporting fraud and vulnerabilities.

For questions about secure (internet) banking at your own bank, please contact one of our experts.

Ask a specialist call for the Netherlands +31708080398 or for Belgium +3238086969

If you have more questions about this topic, please email us.

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