Criminals abuse lockdown to steal personal data

Criminals abuse lockdown to steal personal data

Cybercriminals are sending phishing emails on a large scale to profit from the current lockdown. In an e-mail, which supposedly comes from the national government, entrepreneurs, cultural institutions and families are asked to apply for a ‘support package’. In reality, it is a ruse to steal bank account numbers and other personal information.

This was cited from an e-mail that was seen by Scammed?!.

People are supposedly entitled to a support package

On Saturday, December 18, Prime Minister Mark Rutte addressed the country for the second time in a week with bad news about the coronavirus. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) and the cabinet are very concerned about the omikron variant. The first studies show that this mutation of the coronavirus is a lot more contagious than other variants. To ensure that hospitals are not overrun with corona patients, the government decided to lock our country again. Our country will be in a hard lockdown until 14 January.

Shrewd cybercriminals jump on the news. They pose as the national government and send e-mails to citizens with the promise that they are entitled to a support package. “Entrepreneurs, companies, seniors, freelancers, families, cultural institutions and sports organizations” are eligible for this. All they need to do is click on the ‘Activate Support Package’ link.

Then they end up on a fake government website. It states that they are entitled to a support package until the first quarter of 2022. The site offers visitors the option to select their bank from a drop-down menu and then press the ‘Apply for financial aid’ button. The digital payment environment has been copied for many large banks.

Delete the message immediately

It almost sounds too good to be true. And that is it. If you pay close attention you will see that all kinds of things are not quite right. To start with, the e-mail comes from Rijks.steun[at] Obviously, that’s not an email address the government would ever use. In addition, there are various spelling errors in the letter and punctuation marks are not used or are used incorrectly. The paragraph without spelling and writing errors has been copied one-on-one from a tweet from the central government.

Furthermore, the message is signed by the ‘health and well-being department’. This does not exist: it must be the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The link in the email points to a suspicious domain, one that would never be used by the government.

Did this email land in your inbox by chance? Do not hesitate and delete the message immediately. It is nothing more than an ordinary phishing message to make victims.

Make an appointment for a booster shot

The e-mail about the ‘financial support package’ is not the first fake message we have seen recently. At the end of November, cybercriminals pretended to be GGD GHOR, the umbrella organization of all 25 GGD departments in our country. In it, the elderly were called upon to make an appointment for a booster shot as soon as possible. They were also asked to transfer money for the vaccination.

GGD GHOR was there like the chickens to emphasize that the e-mail did not come from her. After all, vaccination is free and without obligation. In addition, the umbrella organization does not send invitations to people to be vaccinated: RIVM does that. Finally, the language did not suit the institution and the message was full of spelling and writing errors.

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