When you have some doubts, you’d better stop

18 August 2014

It may have happened to you : receiving an e-mail from your bank, which informs you of the urgent security updates it has to make.

The only thing you are asked to do, is to click on a link and send some data such as your telephone number and bank card number. Nothing spectacular, but you may have doubts...

Just remember this: if you receive this kind of message and you have some doubts, you’d better stop. This is the slogan which marks the launch, today, of the safe internet banking campaign set up by Febelfin and the banks.

Sensibilisation works

Drawing the attention of people and businesses to the danger of phishing and keeping everyone alert is and always will be a priority issue for the financial sector. The previous Febelfin campaigns have proved their effectiveness. There were only 183 fraud cases over the first half of this year and, over the year 2014 in full, this would mean a decrease of almost 80%. 

The sector also wants to take this campaign as an opportunity to plead for continued cooperation with the politicians and our partners from other sectors of the economy in the field of cybersecurity and privacy. 

Michel Vermaerke, CEO of Febelfin: “The safe internet banking campaigns set up by Febelfin in 2012 and 2013 have shown that any effort aimed at raising awareness clearly proves to be effective. The number of fraud cases has strongly been decreasing since the end of last year. There were 183 cases during the first half of 2014 and, over the year 2014 in full, this would mean a decrease of almost 80%. However, this must not prevent us from moving on. Today, Febelfin and the banks launch their new awareness raising campaign.”

The danger of phishing: what and how?

The new safe internet banking campaign is aimed at drawing everyone’s attention to the danger of phishing. What exactly is phishing and how does it work ?

Everyone probably has already discovered in his mailbox one of those e-mails sent by his/her ‘bank’ in which one is asked to disclose personal data through a link, often for an urgent reason such as security updates, a blocked account, etc.

Your bank will never ask you to disclose data of this kind. Internet criminals use a phishing mail for the purpose of presenting themselves as your bank. They will call you shortly after you have given them your personal data and ask you to disclose your internet banking codes. If you do this, they will have free access to your account.

The best thing to do...

You are perfectly right to have some doubts when you open this kind of e-mail. The best thing to do is to stop, delete the e-mail and, most important of all, to refrain from sending your data.

The leading characters in the newest campaign have been facing this kind of situation: they also have their doubts, but nevertheless they decide to go ahead. Below, you can see and read where this decision has taken them…   

Newest campaign will be visible all over in public

The campaign for raising awareness as for safe internet banking consists of several parts:

  • a message of general interest (TV spot) which will be shown for 3 weeks on the following channels: Een, Canvas, VTM, 2BE, Vitaya, La Une, La Deux, AB3, RTL-TVi, Club RTL and Plug RTL. The FPS Economy has given its support to this message. Its logo will be visible all through the TV spot;

  • online bannering on the banks’ websites and social media channels as well as on the websites of Febelfin and Safeinternetbanking.be;
  • bannering on the ATM screens;
  • posters in bank branches.

Sequel of...

The new awareness raising campaign is a sequel to the Amazing Mindreader campaign (September 2012) and the See how easily freaks can take over your life campaign (June 2013).

Both campaigns were highly appreciated by the public and at the festivals of creation. The Amazing Mindreader campaign got an award at the Cannes Festival (Gold Lion), the European Excellence Awards, the MIXX Awards, the CCB Awards, to name but a few…
See how easily freaks can take over your life took first prize at the 2013 European Excellence Awards. The number of YouTube visitors of those campaigns amounted to respectively more than 11 million and 700,000.

Sharp decrease of the number of fraud cases

During the first two quarters of 2014, the number of fraud cases amounted to 183 with an  amount of 317,000 EUR. This is a remarkable decrease as compared to the number of 1,772 cases all over 2013. If we take the full year 2014 as a reference, this means a decrease of almost 80%. 

Criminals are still using phishing as their favourite tool. About 75% of the total net fraud is due to this method, the remaining 25% is due to the use of malware(1).

Continuous need for caution

The decrease of the number of fraud cases however does not mean that there is no more work to do for the financial sector, nor that there is less need for caution in the field of safe internet banking.

Febelfin would like to make a strong plea for a close cooperation in the field of cybersecurity and privacy with the political world and our partners from other sectors of the economy. It intends to make a positive contribution to all of the initiatives and policy measures in this respect. 

Michel Vermaerke, CEO of Febelfin : “Our intention is to see together with the political world how we can improve protection against cybercrime and illegal loss of privacy. Trying to achieve maximum security as for the rights and interests of the citizens and companies in the digital society and economy should be a major concern and is a priority issue for the financial sector. Febelfin will be happy to contribute to any kind of reflection, policy measure and other initiative to that purpose. We want to offer our knowledge and know how to the public authorities and the partners from other sectors of the economy, such as the telecom sector, in order to join our constructive and sustained efforts to offer a maximum of protection to the population and to fight against cybercrime with the highest degree of efficiency.”

More information

More information can be found on www.safeinternetbanking.be.

Please do not hesitate to contact Thomas Van Rompuy, Chief of Staff, via vr@febelfin.be or by telephone on the general press number 02 507 68 31. 

(1) Malware is the generic name for all kinds of vicious and toxic software, which installs itself on your computer surreptitiously and malignantly. Malware is used by criminals to get access to a computer, to intervene in the normal development of a session and to steal information.

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