Phishing and other attempts at fraud
Identifying risks and reacting correctly

Genuine or fake?
How to spot phishing and other types of fraud

Spotting attempts at fraud isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips on better protection.

Phishing and other attempts at fraud are real dangers online. Fraudsters often attempt

  • to gain access to personal information (e. g. credit card information or login details/passwords for e-banking, e-mail or social media accounts) by using fake e-mails or websites,
  • to install malware via manipulated links and attachments to gain access to PCs and smartphones without detection,
  • or to direct potential victims to a fake website or harmful app using QR codes to steal data or spread malware.

There are various types of fraud. E-mails, phone calls, SMS or WhatsApp messages, or a combination of these variants, are often used. 

Video Phishing

How to spot phishing e-mails

Alarm bells should start ringing immediately in these cases:

  • Suspicious e-mail addresses: A look at the sender’s e-mail address sometimes reveals that it’s fraudulent. Check the sender’s e-mail by hovering the mouse over the e-mail address, or on tablets and smartphones, by holding your finger/touchscreen pen on the link without pressing. 
  • Requests to act immediately: The e-mail indicates that there’s something wrong with your account, login details or transactions and that you need to act immediately to avoid facing disadvantages.
  • Requests to click: The sender asks you to click on a link, open an attached document or enter your password and/or other sensitive data.

The following elements may also indicate an attempt at fraud:

  • Incorrect language: The e-mail is written in a different language or contains mistakes, e.g. typing errors. But note that good English is no guarantee that the message is genuine. 
  • Unknown sender: The e-mail comes from an unknown sender, e.g. from a bank of which you’re not a customer. But beware, phishing e-mails can also come from supposedly known senders.
  • An incorrect or unusual form of address: the e-mail doesn’t use any form of address or uses an unusual or impersonal variant.
  • Linked text: The link doesn’t match with the linked text.

10 tips for improving your online security

Following this advice provides good basic protection against online attempts at fraud:

  1. A healthy degree of mistrust: Always remain alert – especially when you’re really busy. Don’t trust unsolicited e-mails.
  2. Keep your devices and software up to date: Always keep your operating system and browser updated. Use an up-to-date firewall and antivirus software.
  3. Be cautious when installing: Only install programs and apps from trustworthy websites and/or official providers.
  4. Take care when clicking: Don’t click on links without thinking and don’t open messages from senders you don’t know.
  5. Secure websites: a “https://” (stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”) at the beginning of a URL can be an initial indication that the website is secure (in contrast to http://). But be vigilant, too. “https” does not automatically mean that the website is secure and trustworthy, but only that the operator of the website has acquired an SSL certificate. More and more fraudsters are obtaining these certificates for their fake websites.
  6. Use of passwords: Choose strong passwords, keep them in a safe place and don’t tell them to anyone.
  7. Sensitive data: Ignore requests to enter your security details on websites that may be fake, even if the sender is supposedly Swiss Post.
  8. Always ask if in doubt: If you’re in any doubt, always contact Swiss Post’s customer service. We will be happy to clarify whether an e-mail you received actually came from us.
  9. Secure providers: Only use reputable and secure online payment service providers to shop online, and don’t enter your credit card details unless you completely trust the retailer.
  10. Manual instead of copying: Whenever possible, enter Internet addresses for login areas manually into your Internet browser’s address bar.
Tip: for information on consignments, use the Post-App. You can rest assured that the information comes from Swiss Post.