Police in the Netherlands issued a blunt warning telling the public to be on the lookout for cybercriminals using the coronavirus to swindle people. The scammers often use fake emails or fake text messages to obtain personal information from their victims, police said in a statement.
The punishment for fraud with newer payment methods such as banking apps and Tikkie will increase, according to a legislative proposal Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is working on. Those caught committing fraud with Tikkie or other apps will soon face up to six years in prison, instead of the current between one and four years.
The police and Public Prosecutor are investigating a case in which a man from Noord-Nederland lost nearly a million euros to a phishing SMS in a single night. This is the biggest phishing case of its kind in the Netherlands so far, NOS reports.
One evening in September the victim received an SMS seemingly from his bank saying that his debit card was about to expire. He clicked on the link in the message, and entered his details on the site it led to. This turned out to be a fake site. When he woke up the next morning, he was nearly a million euros poorer.
The amount of damage caused by phishing scams is on the rise, according to figures from the Dutch Payments Association and the Dutch Banking Association. In the first half of this year, Netherlands residents lost 3.1 million euros to phishing scams, compared to 2.4 million euros in the second half of last year. Banks compensate this damage in most cases, NOS reports.
So far this year almost 15 thousand Dutch have fallen victim to phishing scams, the Fraud Help Desk announced on Friday based on the reports it received. Over 1.1 million euros were stolen in these scams, compared to 862 thousand euros in damages throughout all of 2018, NU.nl reports.
The government wants to change the Netherlands' telecom law to make it easier for the Dutch authority on consumers and markets ACM to tackle the "growing problem" of phishing scams via SMS, a spokesperson for State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs confirmed to NU.nl after a report in RTL Nieuws.
It is "very likely" that fraudsters will target ABN Amro customers in the coming period, after the bank announced that it has to re-check all its existing clients in the fight against money laundering and other financial crimes, according to the Dutch Payments Association.
Marktplaats teamed up with the police and banks in the fight against payment fraud. From now on the online market place will warn users if they are sent to an unknown or unofficial payment page, the police announced on its website.
The Dutch police are concerned about an increasingly popular development in cybercrime, which the police refer to as cybercrime-as-service. Criminals can now buy cyber attacks easily, cheaply and at any time of day or night, the police said in a statement.
The police are allowed to force a suspect to unlock their smartphone with a fingerprint scan. This method is not in conflict with the principle that a suspect does not have to cooperate with their own conviction, the Noord-Holland court ruled on Thursday in a case against three men suspected of phishing activities. All three suspects were convicted, NU.nl reports.
Over the past days the police ran an online awareness campaign to show Dutch young people how their experimental behavior can "turn into cybercrime" with just one click. Nearly 10 thousand young people clicked on links to learn how to steal game money on Fortnite, hack into an Instagram account, or buy a DDoS attack targeting their school. Instead they ended up at the police campaign site - "You're just one click away from cybercrime".
Last year nearly 21 thousand data leaks were reported to the Dutch Data Protection Authority, more than double than the number of leaks reported in 2017 and three times more than were reported in 2016, ANP reports.
That does not necessarily mean that there were more leaks - the Authority can't say how many leaks went unreported. Organizations that discover a leak are obliged to report it to the privacy watchdog as soon as possible, but this does not mean everyone does so or that all leaks are discovered.
Last year 3.4 million people in the Netherlands fell victim to cybercrime, according to a study by security company Symantec. That comes down to around one in five Dutch. The victims lost a total of around 1.3 billion euros. Symantec concludes that people overestimate their knowledge of digital security, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands' Fraud Helpdesk is noticing a considerable increase in the number of fraud reports revolving around cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are no exact figures yet about how many people reported Bitcoin fraud to the helpdesk, but that this type of fraud is increasingly common is very clear, Tanya Wijngaarden of the helpdesk said to BNR.
Two teenagers from Oosterhout were arrested for breaking into bank accounts using a fake version of ABN Amro's refund app Tikkie. According to the Public Prosecutor, the teenagers - both born in 1999 - stole over 20 thousand euros from at least 42 people, Brabants Dagblad reports.
During the first quarter of this year, two Dutch government institutions and a company in the energy sector were infected with ransomware, AD reports based on information obtained from the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) by appealing to the freedom of information act. Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to files on an infected computer. The user can regain access to the files by paying a ransom, usually demanded in bitcoins.
Fraudsters targeted dozens of migrants in the past two months. They contacted the migrants by telephone and tried to get hold of money and personal details by pretending to be calling from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND)
The police are concerned about the growing availability and range of "hacking software" - software used to commit cybercrime. This software is easily and readily available, Rob van Bree of the National Police's cybercrime division, said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
Two young Dutch hackers were arrested on Sunday. The police believe the two hackers, aged 18 and 19, hacked into a large number of Instagram accounts and thereby managed to steal tens of thousands of euros in advertising revenue from the real users
In January 32,848 scam emails were reported to online fraud hotline Fraudehelpdesk.nl. That is almost double the 16,705 reports received in December, the hotline announced on Monday.
Rabobank issued a warning of a new phishing SMS in circulation asking customers for their personal information. The bank received dozens of reports about this SMS in the past few days, but expects that the actual number of text messages is much higher.
Hackers are increasingly targeting the Netherlands and cybercrime and digital espionage remain the biggest threats to the digital security in the country. This is greatly influenced by geopolitical developments, such as international conflicts and political sensitivities.
A 38 year old Nigerian man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison by the court in The Hague for phishing - sending emails purporting to be from banks or companies in order to get individuals' personal information, such as login information.