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I have received a message from a known email address or phone number, but it's a scammer

You may sometimes receive a message from an e-mail address that you recognize: from your bank, government service or yourself, but the message itself does not seem reliable.  Or you may get a call from a number identified by your phone. The caller claims to be an employee of your bank, but turns out to be a scammer. What's wrong?

What is spoofing?

This type of scam is called spoofing. Spoofing is when scammers take on a different identity to gain your trust. The scammer pretends to be your bank, a government service or another well-known organization. So don't be fooled. If you’re not sure the message or call is real, please contact the organization or bank.

There are different types of spoofing.

Email spoofing

Email spoofing is a technique used for spam and phishing messages to trick people into believing that a message is coming from a person or organization they know and trust.  The sender edits the email header, to make sure the victim sees a different sender address. The message can therefore look quite real, especially if the e-mail address seems to be correct.

People with bad intentions can easily fake an email address. You cannot do anything yourself to avoid getting a spoofed message, so you should always be careful. How can you make sure that you identify fake e-mails in time? Check the message carefully using our tips. 

Website spoofing

In website spoofing, scammers recreate a website of a bank, shop or trusted organization. This often occurs in combination with a fake email or text message. If you click on the link in message, you will end up on a fake website that looks strikingly like the real website. The website will then ask you to provide your personal details and secret codes.

Phone number spoofing

In the case of phone number spoofing, the scammers will copy another existing phone number. The scammers pretend to be an employee of your bank, the police or another known institution and will try to steal your secret information and codes by using a variety of excuses. Then they will empty your bank account, or they will ask you to make a transfer yourself.

There are also known examples where scammers ask you to return a call to a pay number without you knowing it. Then they keep you on the line as long as possible, racking up a huge phone bill. 

More information about telephone scams.


How can you prevent spoofing?

You cannot prevent spoofed messages or phone calls. So you should always be attentive.


Have you received a spoofed message?

  • Do not click on a link in a suspicious message, do not open attachments and do not download applications if you are asked to.
  • Suspicious emails can be forwarded to suspicious@safeonweb.be. Suspicious text messages can also be forwarded. Take a screenshot and send it to suspicious@safeonweb.be. The content is then processed automatically.
  • NEVER give out personal codes: not on a suspicious website, nor over the phone.
  • If you have passed on a password that you also use in other places, change it immediately.
  • Disconnect communication as soon as possible. Never respond to an email.


Received a suspicious phone call? 

  • NEVER give out personal codes: not on a suspicious website, nor over the phone.
  • If you have passed on a password that you also use in other places, change it immediately.
  • Stop the communication and definitely do not call back.


Have you been scammed?

  • If you have lost money or are being extorted, we recommend that you file a report with your local police straight away.
  • Contact your bank and/or Card Stop on 078 170 170 (+32 78 170 170 from abroad) if you have passed on bank details, money is disappearing from your bank account or if you have transferred money to a scammer. In this way, any fraudulent transactions can be blocked.
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