22 April 2020
Coronavirus: Don't let fraudsters take advantage of the situation
The current state of emergency has resulted in the massive use of electronic media. Fraudsters have already seized this opportunity to adapt their traps.
Ordering protective masks on the internet: Be careful, several companies have already been victims of fraud
Several cases of fraud concerning the online sale of medical supplies have been reported to the authorities, following the purchase of protective masks which are never delivered.
Be careful if you buy medical supplies online:
- Prefer the medical equipment sales websites of pharmaceutical companies
- Ask your contacts if they know a trusted seller
- Never buy online from a promotional e-mail
- Low prices are often a sign of fraud
- In case of doubt, your pharmacy may be of good advice for your purchases
All channels could be used
Fraudsters are using all channels to contact their victims: e-mails, text messages, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. They are even using fake phone calls to ask for money. Pay proper attention to the sender of the message.
If you have any doubts and you know the sender, call the person to verify if he/she has sent the message. Otherwise, do not follow up, do not click on anything and delete the message.
Fake messages from the authorities
Some fake messages from the authorities have been reported. The aim of these fake messages is to steal personal information, passwords and bank credentials.
Always check the sender’s e-mail address and the website you are going to before sharing any information. REMEMBER: your passwords and bank credentials are secret, even from your bank. Always verify that you are on the right website before entering your credentials (check the address of the site, more information on ing.be/URL).
Bank e-mails and SMS phishing
Fraudsters may try to impersonate your bank in order to steal money. There are a number of ways to protect yourself against financial phishing:
- Never share your bank credentials (even the codes from your card reader) over the phone
- Never enter your credentials on a website if you were sent there from a link in an e-mail or a text message (instead, go to your bank website yourself and manually enter the address in your browser)
- Learn how to spot a phishing e-mail on ing.be/URL
- Never click on a link in a text message from ING, we do not send messages with links.
- Call your bank immediately if you have been victim of fraud.
- Follow the news and the official messages from the authorities
- Visit your bank website regularly for updates on fraud risks.
Interpol has published recommendations about financial fraud linked to coronavirus.