The number of reports of online bank fraud in Limburg is increasing. From January to September, criminals in our province extorted two million euros from their victims. The average damage amount is between 20,000 and 25,000 euros.
Between January and September, the police received an average of 45 reports of bank fraud or attempted fraud every month. The elderly in particular are often the victims of online fraud.
Criminals operate in different ways. For example, they call themselves as bank employees to allegedly warn people that their account has been hacked. The customer is advised to transfer all the money to a so-called vault account. Another way that criminals use is to remotely control a computer. They then tell the victims that they can help undo a hack. Sometimes criminals advise to cut the bank card. A so-called courier will collect the old pass. The PIN has already been cheated by phone. During retrieval, the criminal sometimes still performs actions on the victim’s computer.
Shame among victims
Frans Herraets from Horst was also called once by someone who said he was from the bank. “Then maybe it will be the case. I had to fill in a few things. At a certain point I got crypto on my screen. Then I said to the man, now I don’t believe you anymore,” says Frans. “I was so confused. That man also says: you are not going to let the money be taken by criminals, are you?” Frans’s wife immediately called in their son. He then called the bank, which indicated that it had nothing to do with this. Frans now wants to warn people about fraud. “It really gave me sleepless nights,” he says. “Not because they took my money, but because I thought I was sober enough for this. Still, I stunk in it.”
The Dutch Banking Association (NVB) says that banks usually reimburse part of the damage out of leniency. Each bank decides for itself whether and how much they reimburse. “The most recent form is spoofing. That is fraud in which people are approached by criminals who say they are employees of a bank. The bank pays that back out of leniency,” says the spokesman for the union.
The customer himself must also be alert. In 2020, banks reimbursed 96 percent of customers for damage, but subject to a number of conditions. For example, customers will not be reimbursed if they have previously received compensation from the same bank or if the victim does not cooperate sufficiently in the fraud investigation. If they are found to be complicit in the fraud, they will not receive any compensation.
The banks have been compensating for damage caused by phishing for a long time. These are often emails or messages containing a fake link that leads to a website. Often the goal is to transfer money or hack the computer. “The compensation is also subject to certain conditions. For example, the computer must always be up-to-date and you must have a security program,” says the association.