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As a businessperson in the Netherlands you may have to deal with different types of deception and fraud. To protect your business from fraud, you should always check your business partner's details, company information and/or business information with the Dutch Commercial Register to see if they are consistent with what you have been told.
The most common types of fraud and deception are:
- Advertising fraud: sending fake invoices or deception by phone or through a representative.
- Identity fraud: illegal use of personal data (through phishing), for example, for ordering through the Internet.
- Slamming: transferring one telephone service provider to another unrequested.
- Advance fee fraud (419-fraud): in return for an advance fee, you are wrongfully promised a high compensation.
- Extortion: demanding money under the threat of, for example, violence or making incriminating or damaging information public.
Victims of fraud, deception or slamming
You can report all forms of fraud and deception to the police. For some of these practices reporting centres and information lines have been set up:
- Fraud Help Desk
- Advertising Fraud Support Centre
- Internet Scams (Dutch Police, in Dutch)
- Report crime anonymously
- Fraudulent Employment Agencies Reporting Centre (SZW Inspectorate)
- Dutch Identity Fraud Help Desk (CMI, in Dutch)
- Confidential hotline for reporting extortion (Vertrouwenslijn, in Dutch)
- Report malicious and phishing emails (Tax and Customs Administration)
If you have been a victim of slamming, you can submit a complaint to your new and old telephony provider. Your old telephony provider can tell you who your new provider is. If your new telephony provider does not want to cooperate in finding a good solution, you can report your situation to the Fraud Help Desk.
In addition, you have several other possibilities:
- Contact your legal expenses insurance company or a legal adviser.
- Contact your branch organisation in order to warn other entrepreneurs in your branch.
Prinsjesdag (Budget Day) 2019 announcement
On Prinsjesdag (Budget Day) 2019, the Ministry of Finance announced that a register of fraudulent tax consultants will be made public via the website of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Tax consultants who deliberately submit wrong or incomplete tax returns, can receive a financial penalty. From 2020 onwards, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration is allowed to disclose the register of consultants who have received such a penalty. By making the register public, the government hopes to combat tax evasion and fraud. Apart from tax consultants, civil law notaries, accountants and lawyers can also be included in the register. The offender’s data will remain publicly available on the Tax Administration website for 5 years.
The measure will come into effect on 1 January 2020, subject to its acceptance by the upper and lower houses of parliament.
Statistics: fraud and extortion
Number of registered crimes concerning fraud, extortion and blackmail which have been reported to or filed by the Dutch police as well as incidences documented by the police themselves.