Erasmus+ Programme

What is… Phishing?

Phishing is a type of "social engineering" whereby criminals try to obtain, through deception, users' personal data (bank details, credit card numbers, passwords, account details and other types of information).

The "phisher" can ask for urgent confirmation or for you to send specific data. The people behind these scams have high levels of IT and technical skills and generally use mass mailing indiscriminately to reach thousands of recipients (Spamming). To reach as many potential victims as possible they use messages and offers which will appeal to the recipient. Their modus operandi is to redirect victims to false websites which appear similar to the authentic ones. These are normally on-line banking websites, social networks, e-mail accounts or similar, by using false e-mail, text and mobile messaging (WhatsApp, etc.) messages. Once on these pages the victim will introduce their bank details (to update the info, for example), to restore their log-in details (due to a server error), make any type of on-line transaction (where your personal details need to be checked) or simply to access a new service which offers the use some type of service or offer.

The links that these scams provide attempt to emulate the real website and will redirect you to another server which appears identical to the original but which is controlled by the cybercriminals.

Applications in this category which try to steal personal or banking details are classified as follows:

Types of Phishing

Risk Factors and Consequences

The main risk of this type of fraudulent activity is that the phisher obtains personal or banking information and can access your private information. The main forms of access are via the following information:


The cybercriminals are highly audacious at scamming people. One they get your personal information they can use it to commit a range of fraudulent activities:

IT fraud is on the rise due to the vast numbers of computer users. This is of extreme importance to consumers as they are in constant danger of being attacked.

Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.