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Phishing fraud lands more victims in 2019 as fake websites become cheaper

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Phishing and bank card fraud is on the increase because it is becoming cheaper to create look-alike banking websites, the Dutch banking association NVB and payment traffic association Betaalvereniging have found.

The NVB figures show bank clients lost a total of €3.1m in the first six months of this year through security code fraud, compared to €2.4m the last six months of 2018. In most cases clients received compensation from the banks.

Conmen also got away with €2.6m in bank card fraud in the first half of 2019, up from €2m in the 2018 second half.

Half of all bank cards were stolen via the internet, the NVB reports. Criminals convince their victims that their bank card needs replacing and con them into typing in their pin code on a fake website and sending off the card to an address managed by the fraudster.

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Phishing websites are becoming increasingly cheap to set up, Betaalvereniging spokesman Berend Jan Beugel told public broadcaster NOS. ‘That means this type of attack is becoming more common and that fake banking websites are getting more and more sophisticated.’

The fake bank sites are being sold to criminals via the internet at a fraction of the hundreds of euros they used to cost, Beugel said.

E-mail is no longer the preferred method to contact potential victims, the organisations said, and phishing messages are increasingly sent via SMS or Whatsapp. The fraudsters pretend to be a friend in need and ask for a transfer of money or recipients are led to a fake website through popular payment methods such as Tikkie.

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