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The ECB name and logo can be misused

Is the ECB aware of any fraud schemes?

Yes. Citizens regularly report fraud schemes in which the name and/or logo of the ECB are misused, as well as schemes where ECB staff members are impersonated.

If something feels off about an email you receive, do not click on any link contained in that email, do not open any of its attachments and do not respond to any invitations or campaigns.

If someone has contacted you saying that they hold money that belongs to you and that they work for the ECB, it is a scam. We are not a commercial bank, so we don’t hold accounts for members of the public.

To be clear: the ECB will never ask you for your personal data by email, phone, text message or instant message. Members of the Executive Board will also never contact you about personal wealth or financial matters.

What are the typical fraud cases?

  • Are you being told that the ECB is collecting cross-border transfer fees?
  • Are you being told that the ECB is a commercial bank providing online banking services?
  • Are you being asked to make a payment with the help of a fake ECB online banking website or a fake ECB customer service department?
  • Are you being asked to make a payment because the ECB is blocking money transfers?
  • Are you being asked to make a payment because the ECB is collecting deposits or payments for purchasing/cashing bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, or because it is recovering funds for people that are victims of fraud?
  • Are you being encouraged to take out a loan from the ECB with very attractive conditions?

If any of these situations apply to you: you have been targeted by a fraud scheme!

How can I recognise a fraud scheme involving the ECB?

Fraud schemes often look like they come from the ECB, but they typically contain errors. Here are some tips that will help you recognise a fraud scheme.

  • Check the sender of the email: an email sent by the ECB will always be from an email address ending in @ecb.europa.eu or @ecb.int. Never trust a forwarded email.
  • Check the text for unusual wording or typing errors.
  • Check the links in the email: hover your mouse over the link without clicking on it. This will display the full text of the link. Some email programmes will display it at the bottom of your screen. If it does not refer to ecb.europa.eu, the email is probably fraudulent.
  • In general, be suspicious of unexpected emails that ask you to take immediate actions (e.g. urgently transfer money) or that appear too good to be true.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Never transfer any money unless you are sure who will receive it, and never disclose details like your bank account, your ID or any other personal information.

The ECB cannot be held responsible if its name, logos or address are misused in schemes that aim to defraud members of the public. We advise you to report cases of fraud to your local law enforcement authorities or to seek advice from the relevant national competent authorities.

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