Beware of phishing: Attempted fraud with an energy price flat rate

These days the 300 euros energy flat rate land on the account.

Beware of phishing: Attempted fraud with an energy price flat rate

These days the 300 euros energy flat rate land on the account. At the same time, however, e-mails and text messages are also circulating, requesting that personal data be verified in order to get the money. Which is not just nonsense, but criminal.

Criminals are currently using the federal government's announced energy flat rate for fraud attempts. In e-mails from alleged banks, they claim that the personal data of the recipients would have to be compared in order to pay out the lump sum. Something similar is said to come via SMS from the "Federal Ministry of Finance". But that is cheating. No bank or savings bank has to check data on the payment of the energy flat rate. Payment is made via wages or salary. And the Ministry of Finance does not ask about this either.

For example, the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center noticed an e-mail that allegedly came from the savings bank. The recipients should be tricked into opening a fraudulent website and typing in personal data. This phishing email explains who receives the energy flat rate from the federal government's relief package. Contrary to what is often the case, the fraudulent message is written with almost no spelling mistakes and good grammar.

In order to persuade recipients to click on the link to a false Sparkasse website, the e-mail states: "In order to be able to determine your identity and the right to a payment, we need confirmation of the data you have already provided when creating your current account in one of our branches." Only then will you receive “your payment of the energy flat rate in the next four weeks”. There are similar claims with the logos of other banks - for example the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, as reported by consumer protection groups.

Fraudsters also try to lure unsuspecting people to dubious websites and access data via SMS. Here it says: "(Federal Ministry of Finance) You still have to receive an amount of 254.33. Verify yourself and receive the amount via:".

But you should neither follow the links contained in the e-mail nor the SMS and not reply to the message. Rather, emails should be moved to the appropriate folder as spam. Ignore SMS and block the sender number.

If data was nevertheless entered on a linked website, it is not possible to estimate what the criminals will do with it. There are numerous possibilities for identity theft, ranging from simple internet orders on the account of the deceived to criminal transactions in their name. As a precaution, a report should therefore be made to the police.