Police warn of fake mail from the federal government – this is how the fraud works

Scammers are now using the federal government to get credit card details. This is how the scam works.

The State Criminal Police Office of Lower Saxony warns of emails that are said to come from the federal government. More precisely: From the “Department of Finance and Security” (sic!).

The pretense

The subject line is worded in a way that grabs recipients’ attention immediately: “Your credit or debit card verification is required to avoid a ban.” The emails have the logos of the EU and the federal government in the header. After an impersonal salutation (“Guten Tag”), you can read that the payment card you are using no longer complies with the PSD2 guidelines of the European Union. Therefore, the recipient must verify his credit or debit card.

This is what the email looks like.


This is what the email looks like.


All card data will be requested

Below that is a large button with a federal eagle and the words “Confirm identity”. This takes you to a fraudulent site where the entered data is tapped by cyber gangsters. Anyone who fills out the fields there for the money cards will actually receive a confirmation and will then be forwarded to the real website of the federal government.

To add pressure, this is followed by a paragraph highlighted in red threatening that the recipient’s account could be suspended for 180 days if they don’t confirm their identity by August 31, 2022.

How to recognize the fake

Not only the typos (“financial and security”) and the unusual formulations for letters from German authorities (“department”, “domicile address”) immediately show that this mail is a fake. Rather, the attempted fraud is made quite generally evident by the fact that the federal government does not care whether customers comply with the PSD2 guidelines.

The PDS2 guideline does exist, however, and you can find all the information about it here at the Bundesbank.

How to protect yourself

Carefully read any email that purports to come from an official body. As a rule, however, you will receive such letters by paper mail. In addition, you will never be asked by email to enter any sensitive data on any website linked in the email.

Also, think about whether the alleged sender of an email fits the topic being discussed at all – federal government and PSD2 or federal government and your money cards makes no sense. Delete any doubtful mail without tapping any links in it. If you are unsure, first research the facts on the Internet and call your bank.

How to respond to a scam

If you have already fallen into the trap, inform your bank immediately and have the cards blocked. Read more about this in Cash card stolen: You must do this immediately! You can also file a complaint, which can also be done online.

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