Phishing: Current fraud attempts

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In a constantly updated list, we warn you about the latest phishing attempts that reach you by email, WhatsApp or SMS. So check here before you click on any dubious links or install any apps.

We regularly report on the latest phishing or smishing attacks, which criminals use to trick you into disclosing your bank account details, for example. Our regularly updated phishing warning list is designed to help you recognise such attempts. We warn you about telephone scams in our telephone number warning list.

Current phishing attacks
We advise you not to follow the links and requests and simply delete the emails.

Known phishing methods
In general, phishing aims to gain the victim’s trust by tricking them into giving out certain information they would never tell a stranger. For example, they use e-mails that look deceptively genuine or make calls purporting to be on behalf of a company.

The three biggest dangers are ignorance, credulity and greed. For example, if you install an app from some website to track the status of your parcel and get a Trojan on your mobile phone that spies on your bank details. Or when you are promised a prize on the phone and “only have to take out a small subscription”.

As everywhere in life, the principle “If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s not true!” applies.

The following phishing attempts are particularly common:
・Bank phishing: You receive genuine emails in which your bank supposedly asks you to enter your login details to check your account. Links in the emails lead to fake bank pages. Your access data is used to empty your account or to make purchases at your expense. The method of using fake pages is also known as “pharming.”

・Phone phishing: With this method, you are called by a call centre. The callers claim to be calling on behalf of your bank, mobile phone provider, or electricity supplier. To “synchronise data,” they ask for the number of your electricity meter, for example, or request your security password for your mobile phone account.

・Smishing / SMS phishing: You receive an SMS that claims to be from a parcel service. It contains a link that you should tap to call up the shipment status. However, the link leads to a fake page that asks you to install an app – which then spies on your smartphone.

・WhatsApp phishing: A new variant of the “grandchild trick” is used here. You are contacted by an unknown number with “Hello grandma, hello mum, hello dad” and asked to guess the name. Then comes a story about how your mobile phone allegedly broke. Now you have a new one (and a new, unknown number), but you can’t use it to transfer money. “Can you do that for me? I’ll return it to you over the weekend.”

All of these methods are used to gain the trust of victims and then rip them off. With more caution and control—for example, by asking the bank—you can defend yourself against this.

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