The term "phishing" refers to a form of online fraud intended to steal users' personal information. Phishing comes in different forms, but the aim is always the same. The perpetrators of phishing take advantage of users' gullibility. They send messages, either by email or text or via other online messaging services in the name of an organisation, e.g. the potential victim's bank, a public body or an online service.
Under false pretences, the perpetrators invite the victim to connect to this company or organisation's online services by clicking on a link in the message and entering personal information there. Often these messages mention an online account that is about to expire and needs to be renewed or an account with a bank that needs to be extended.
After this information has been entered, the crooks extract the data and use it to obtain benefits such as money or personal documents.
To avoid becoming a victim of phishing, it is essential that you follow this advice:
- Never share information and personal data with anyone asking for it by email, text or another messaging service.
- Never click on a link that you have been sent from an unknown source.
- Be wary of any messages saying you have to do something very quickly or asking you for personal data.
- Always check if the message is addressed to you personally and if it contains mistakes or poor translation.
- Be aware that serious organisations and companies will never ask you for personal data via email.
- If the origin of a message is not clear or if you are in any doubt, do not hesitate to contact the organisation concerned.