In Europe, we are faced with many fake emails purporting to be from legitimate banks that want you to believe that they’re coming from your bank. At my company, we’ve received several phishing emails notifying the recipients to confirm/update their personal information. The text looks rather official and it’s supposedly coming from ING bank or ABN – Amro bank. ING is a global financial institution located in many other countries in Europe and across the big Atlantic pond.European Bank Phishing Scams

This is a SCAM with the intention to phish your personal identifiable information!

The email notifies you that your bank is busy updating their address and or data files and asks you to confirm your personal information including your bank account number, log-in ID and your password to confirm that they are still valid.


The Dutch government has started an info campaign on TV to warn the population against these fake bank emails that are phishing your personal data. Unfortunately that’s needed, many people are so naive!

They show you a funny film on TV where a group of fisherman are hanging around your house, in the backyard, on the street and sitting on the roof. They are everywhere and have hung their fishing lines in the chimney, through an open window and the letterbox in the door, waiting for something to catch.

Then the voice says: “This may look silly to you, but on the internet this is very common“. The second part of the film shows a screenshot of a fake email that is supposed to be from your bank that’s being opened by someone on a home PC. Then the voice says: “These emails are not real, don’t trust them. Your bank will never ask for personal information by way of email! Delete immediately!”

I can understand that this happens a lot even though our electronic banking and payment systems are more developed compared to the rest of Europe. We mostly use credit cards and we also have a system called PIN to make payments with. This system is being accepted in other countries as well. Paying in Holland with PIN is free for the owner of the card and the receiver of the money and has become a popular form of payment even with small payment amounts. Today, many people here rarely ever carry cash and they prefer to use PIN as a method of payment.

The Dutch payment and bank system is electronic and the European commission wants to standardize that in the whole EU zone. It provides more security to shops and such and prevents theft, because they don’t have much cash on hand.

So when there isn’t a lot of cash passing hand to hand, criminals have to force an entry to the electronic payment system to gain access to steal money. That explains these fake emails.

No matter what country you live in, your bank will never send you such emails. DON’T OPEN THEM AND DELETE THEM IMMIDIATELY!

Author: Peter B. “The flying Dutchman”. Peter is an advocate of internet and computer security and also an active member of Web of Trust.