Pas op voor oplichting
Pas op voor oplichting

Beware of phone scams

At the beginning of the academic year, there are often attempts to scam (international) staff and students by phone. For example, the fraudster presents themselves as someone from the government, the legal system or a bank. They already have some of your personal information and sound credible enough. They state that you have been fined, or they want to ‘help’ you to secure your money. This also happened to a Radboud student last year. And he is certainly not the only one.

You need to know that government agencies, banks, etc. will never approach you over the phone. Be alert and never transfer money or share personal information if you don't know who you are dealing with!

When in doubt, hang up!

How to protect yourself:

  1.  Keep your passwords secret.
  2. Use various different passwords. 9. Turn on 2-factor authentication where possible. You can also do this for WhatsApp.
  3. Never return a call from an unknown foreign number.
  4. Always double-check payment requests for authenticity.
  5. Do not forward activation codes.

Different types of telephone scams

  • WhatsApp scam: someone pretends to be a friend and says they need money quickly. Tip: Be alert and never provide payment details, your PIN, or install software on your phone or computer at the request of an unknown person.
  • WhatsApp hack: a criminal can access your WhatsApp profile and send messages in your name. Tip: set up two-factor authentication for WhatsApp.
  • One ring hang-up scam (wangiri): someone calls your number and hangs up immediately in the hope that you call back. Without noticing it, you are calling an expensive service number. Tip: Never return a call to an unknown (foreign) number.
  • Sim swap scam: without your knowledge, a criminal has had your provider transfer your phone number to another SIM card. Someone else can now call at your expense, but you yourself can no longer connect to your mobile network. Also, the criminal can receive texts that are intended for you, for example authentication texts to log in or to approve a payment. Tip: choose 2-factor authentication via an app instead of via text service.
  • Phone spoofing: a criminal pretends to be a company and tries to persuade you to share personal information or send money by phone, email or text message. Tip: Always contact the company directly to find out if the request actually came from them.
  • International text message scam: your phone sends text messages to a foreign country without you noticing it, causing your phone bill to soar. This happens as a result of a rogue app. Tip: Many providers allow you to set a limit for your user costs.