Fraud – misuse of ECB name and logo
Is the ECB aware of any fraudulent schemes that misuse its name and/or logo?
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 contacts you saying that they work for the ECB and are holding money that belongs to you, 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 never contact you about personal wealth or financial matters.
What are the most common types of fraud?
The most common types of scam involve fraudsters:
telling people that the ECB is collecting cross-border transfer fees
- claiming that the ECB is a commercial bank providing online banking services
- asking people to make a payment via a fake ECB online banking website or a fake ECB customer service department
- asking people to make a payment because the ECB is blocking a money transfer
- requesting a payment because the ECB is collecting deposits or payments for purchasing/cashing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, or because it is recovering funds for people who are victims of fraud
- encouraging people to take out loans from the ECB on very attractive terms
If anyone ever asks you for or suggests any of the above, it is a scam.
How can I recognise a fraudulent scheme involving the name and/or logo of the ECB?
Messages from fraudsters often look like they have come from the ECB, but they typically contain errors. Here are some tips that will help you to recognise a scam:
- Check the sender of the email: an email sent by the ECB will always come from an email address ending in @ecb.europa.eu or @ecb.int. Never trust a forwarded email.
- Check the text for unusual wording, spelling mistakes and typographical errors.
- Check the links in the email: hover your cursor 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 the screen. If the link does not include “ecb.europa.eu”, the email is probably fraudulent.
- In general, be suspicious of unexpected emails that ask you to take immediate action (e.g. urgently transferring money) or look too good to be true.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Never transfer any money without knowing who will receive it, and never disclose information such as your bank account number, details of your personal ID or any other personal information.
The ECB is not responsible for the misuse of its name, logo and/or address by scams seeking to defraud members of the public. We advise you to report cases of fraud to your local law enforcement authorities or seek advice from the relevant national competent authorities.