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Microsoft scam

Nicole (84) lost all her savings due to phishing

Nicole (84) from Kontich lost all her savings. A couple of weeks ago she was deceived by a false message and a telephone call by a conman who emptied her account and stole 4,000 euros. 

Nicole testifies how she lost all her savings. She wants to warn others.  

“I was conned by someone who pretended to be a Microsoft employee, who said there were problems with my computer and that we could solve them together. I could get telephone assistance”, she testifies. “On the telephone he convinced me to install a programme that would solve all the problems. We were on the phone for about three hours. The cost was 49 euros supposedly. To pay this he needed my bank account number. Before I realised something was wrong, he had emptied my account.” 

What is phishing? 

Phishing is online fraud through false e-mails, websites or messages. Cyber criminals always try to abuse something you believe in or someone you trust. The conman was able to convince Nicole he was a Microsoft employee. She trusted him when installing software on her computer. Don't let them fool you! 

But how can you recognise false e-mails and how can you make the distinction with reliable messages? Smart cyber criminals really can make you doubt. Here  are some tips to verify whether you can trust a message. 

Cyber criminals increasingly creative 

By putting a phone number in the false message, the conman was able to mislead Nicole by telephone. 

Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly creative in their attempts to mislead people: 
- they send false messages which are so convincing you open the attachment, 
- they promise a big reward if you fill out a questionnaire and leave your data, 
- they threaten you if you don't react,  
- and they use increasingly more channels (e-mail, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.). 

Always be vigilant with all messages you receive!