Phishing scams on the up in the Netherlands

Phishing scams on the up in the Netherlands

After years of declining, phishing is on the up. In 2018, the (monetary) damage caused by it had almost quadrupled compared to previous years. According to figures from the Dutch Payments Association and the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), this year the damages from phishing have yet again increased.

In the first half of this year, banking customers collectively lost 3,1 million euros due to phishing scams. This is a considerable increase compared to the 2,4 million lost in the second half of last year. Banks luckily cover the damages in the majority of cases.

Watch out for phishing scams

Phishing is on the rise and so is fraud when it comes to bank cards. In the last half of 2018, bankcard fraud accrued damages of two million euros. In the first half of this year, this figure increased to 2,6 million euros. Notably, around half of all bank cards were stolen via the internet. Scammers convinced victims that they needed to swap their cards and then got them to type in their pin number on a fake website and send their card via the post to said scammers.

According to the Dutch Payments Association, the increase in phishing scams can be explained by the fact that it is getting easier and cheaper to set up a phishing website. Spokesperson Berend Jan Beugel states that the fact that there are more of them means that there are more attacks and the fake websites become increasingly credible.

That WhatsApp message may not be what it seems

Phishing scams are being carried out via text message and WhatsApp message more and more often, as opposed to email. Scammers will often pretend they are an acquaintance and say they need money for an emergency. They may also send a message making it look like a large sum of money has been taken from the victim’s account. When the victim clicks on the link to see what’s going on, they end up on a fraudulent website. Fake payment requests are also a popular means of phishing.

Tips for staying safe

No one wants to be the victim of a phishing scam. Here are some tips from the Dutch Payments Association:

  • Always check the web address in a payment request to make sure it’s from the bank. If in doubt, abort.
  • Never click on a hyperlink to online banking in a text or email, a bank will never send a hyperlink. Always go to the bank’s website and log in there.
  • Received a message to send an acquaintance money? Call them on the number you already had for them to make sure it’s really them.
  • Forward scam emails and messages to the bank in question, they can then warn other customers.
Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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