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Phishing is a type of internet fraud. Cybercriminals use phishing to steal personal information or passwords. You can become a victim of phishing if you, or someone else in your organisation, clicks on a bad link, opens a bad attachment, or reply to a phishing email. How do you recognise a malicious email? And what do you do if you are a victim of phishing?

What is phishing?

Phishing is everywhere. Everyone can become a victim. Phishing attacks come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is a simple request for personal and login details. Sometimes it is a very targeted, intelligent and specific attack. The aim of each attack is to penetrate your organisation. It is often difficult to spot phishing, especially when it comes to targeted phishing attacks. Such attacks often seem to come from people you know, or explicitly mention names and information specific to you, the recipient. An example of this is the so-called CEO fraud, where phishing emails appear to come from a manager in your company.

How do I recognise a phishing email?

How do you know whether you can safely open an email? It is often very difficult to spot fake emails, especially when it comes to targeted attacks. Below you find advice to help you identify possible fake emails.


Another type of phishing is sms-phishing, or 'smishing'. It is phishing via SMS (short message service) or messaging services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. This type of online fraud is on the rise. Criminal activities have moved into the digital domain. Now that smartphones are an important part of our (financial) activities, they are an interesting field of activity for cybercriminals. Read more about smishing (in Dutch).

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