Consumer centers warn against personalized phishing

Author: Snoke Connect
Friday, Jul 7, 2023

Skillfully crafted phishing mails, claiming the restriction of the ING account, are doing the rounds according to consumer centers. The mails seem more credible because of the personal salutation. In the emails, the scammers claim that functions of the potential victim’s account would be restricted for security reasons. “Withdraw cash from ATMs; Pay in stores and or/on the Internet; Make transfers from your account or receive transfers to your account” are no longer possible, the mails say.

To restore functionality, scam email recipients would allegedly need to confirm their account details and recent transactions. To do so, they should click on a “link to reactivate your account” in the mail. This should not be done under any circumstances, because otherwise you will fall into the scammers’ trap. The personal salutation is unusual, but the request to disclose data with a link, inconsistent layout, incorrect sender address and grammatical errors all indicate a phishing attempt. The consumer advice centers advise recipients to move this mail unanswered to the spam folder. They do not provide any information on the suspected origin of the mails.

The phishing mail scam remains popular among cybercriminals. It still seems to be a lucrative criminal business model. The BSI (Federal Office for Information Security) provides the following tips for recognizing phishing mails: The text of the mail states the need for urgent action, such as “If you do not update your data immediately, it will be irretrievably lost …”. Threats are used: “If you do not do this, we will unfortunately have to block your account …”. You are asked to enter confidential data such as the PIN for your online bank access or a credit card number. The email contains links or forms. The mail seems to come from a well-known person or organization, but the sender’s request seems unusual to you.

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