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Secure mail: Here’s what to do if you’ve fallen into the phishing trap

Have you accidentally opened a phishing e-mail? We have already shown you how to protect yourself against phishing attacks. But what if you do fall for a well-faked e-mail and your account or account access data ends up in the wrong hands? Don’t worry, we have some tips for you!

Checklist: Here’s what you can do if you’ve opened a phishing e-mail

  • Don’t panic! Almost everyone has opened a phishing email at some point. Stay calm and follow the next steps.
  • Don’t delete the suspicious email since it can serve as evidence and help solve the case.
  • If it’s about your bank account, contact your bank and have all accounts and cards blocked.
  • In case of account phishing at online stores, social media or cloud services, log into your account and change the access data. Check and cancel any possible orders placed without your consent. If you can no longer log in because scammers have already changed the access data, contact the operator of the service, and have your account blocked.
  • If your idgard® account is affected, please contact the person who invited you. They can simply re-issue the hijacked license and thus prevent the attackers from accessing sensitive data. Remember to set a new password if you register again afterwards!
    Our employees will never ask you for your access data. Do not pass them on to third parties under any circumstances!
  • In any case, contact the company (bank, online store, service provider) on behalf of which the phishing attack took place. Inform them about the incident and seek advice.
  • Contact a lawyer. If fraudsters have debited money from your bank account, usually you can make civil claims against the bank.
  • Since phishing is attempted fraud and therefore a criminal offense, it is also advisable to file criminal charges.
  • To be on the safe side, you should update your antivirus and check your computer for Trojans.
  • Report – even unsuccessful – phishing attacks to your consumer advice center. In Germany, the Phishing Radar provides information about current phishing cases and helps other consumers to protect themselves against attacks as well. You can send suspicious e-mails to your responsible consumer advice center. German readers can use the e-mail address

Would you like to learn more about secure data exchange and e-mail security? Click here for our overview article: Secure mail: How to protect your emails and attachments

Do you want to protect yourself and your employees even more effectively against phishing attacks? Find out more about TÜV SÜD’s cyber security training courses and seminars now!

By the way, it is better not to send sensitive file attachments by e-mail. Instead, try our highly secure data exchange solution idgard® for free, without any risk. No installation needed. Register now!