The Secretary of State for Consumer Protection, Eva de Bleecker (Open Vld), has asked the banking sector to come up with a clear action plan that will allow consumers to block their accounts faster and more smoothly when they fall victim to phishing. It was announced on Monday.
According to De Bleeker, phishing victims face two recurring problems: on the one hand, the unavailability of some financial institutions during evenings and weekends, and on the other hand, clarity of the procedures to be followed. The criminals behind phishing, an online fraud system in which consumers are asked for personal data and personal codes containing false messages, are getting more creative.
The Minister of State is asking the banking sector to encourage its members to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the end of the year. It is crucial that consumers be able to block their personal accounts at any time of the day or night and thus control their finances. There are already banks working on this, says de Bleecker, so in the long run other banks will also be encouraged to do so.
In addition, on the Card Stop website, when a bank card is blocked, a link is created to one unique page where all the information for each bank can be found. This website will clearly explain how the bank can be contacted to block accounts and applications. One of the banks can reach you by phone, while in the other you have to fill out an online form. You will also be redirected to this page by the audio you hear when you call Card Stop. This way, consumers are immediately aware of the fact that they also have to block their accounts.
This procedure should also be simplified and made user-friendly for FM de Bleecker by June 2022. This can be done, for example, by an automatic transfer to the respective consumer bank, so that he no longer has to take an additional manual step to the website.
“I try to raise awareness and protect consumers from phishing in a number of ways, and in collaboration with my colleagues, I also make sure that cybercriminals do not get away with it. Unfortunately, scammers are getting more creative and bold and victims keep falling. When that happens, people have a lot in their mind. The last thing that helps them at that moment is a complex system to protect their money on their own or an inaccessible bank. That’s why I ask the banking sector to act more quickly and help their customers quickly “, concludes Eva de Bleecker.
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