The Fraud Help Desk works in close collaboration with the following partners (more information below):
ACM – Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets
AFM – Netherlands Financial Markets Authority
ConsuWijzer – Consumer information desk
CMI – Identity Theft Reporting Office
NCSC – National Cyber Security Centre
OM – Public Prosecution Service
Tax and Customs Administration
Public service institutions
Dutch Association of Insurers (VvV)
Netherlands Health Insurers (ZN)
Dutch Banking Association (NVB)
Chambers of Commerce (KvK)
SMEs Netherlands (MKB-Nederland)
The Advertising Code Committee (RCC)
Employers’ Organisation (VNO-NCW)
Leading international anti-fraud websites
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC)
Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre
FBI Common Fraud Schemes
Scamnet – Western Australian government’s Commerce Department
Crimestoppers UK – fighting fraud
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets is an independent supervisory body for the savings, borrowing, investment, pension and insurance markets. The AFM falls under the political responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and is a semi-governmental agency. The AFM sees to it that financial institutions are conscientious and fair in their dealings with you and ensures that they provide correct information about their financial products and services to consumers and companies.
Questions or complaints about financial services
The AFM provides independent tools and information to help you make well-informed financial choices. Through the Financial Markets Information Line (Meldpunt Financiële Markten) you can ask questions about or report on potential abuses in the financial markets.
You can also file a complaint with Financial Markets Information Line about saving, borrowing, investing or insurance in the Netherlands. Note that the AFM does not mediate in personal disputes between you and a certain financial institution. However, it will refer you to other bodies that can deal with your complaint. One of those is KiFiD (Financial Services Complaints Institute), which offers free mediation.
The number of the Financial Markets Information Line is 0900-5400 540 (5 eurocents per minute), or from abroad +31 20 797 3751. They’re able to take your call on working days between 09.00 hours and 17.00 hours.
Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets
Public Information Department
PO Box 11723
1001 GS Amsterdam
If you prefer contacting AFM online, you can use their Contact form.
The Central Identity Theft and Error Reporting Centre (CMI), a government initiative, provides information and advice on identity theft. You can contact the centre if you suspect you are the victim of identity theft. The CMI then provides support and advice.
Your report will be registered and referred to the proper authorities (police, the Royal Military and Border Police or another government organization or agency). CMI will monitor progress.
You can also seek assistance if you believe that public authorities have not recorded your personal details correctly. Of course, you’ll need to contact those authorities first.
Identity fraud can be defined as the deliberate use of a stolen identity – by means of forged signatures, passport copies or other documents – with a view to obtaining goods or services by deception, which is a punishable offence.
Fraudsters can use your identity details to open bank accounts or take over existing ones, obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits or order and pay goods in your name.
Some signs that your identity is being misused:
- You suddenly receive bills or receipts in your name for goods or services you haven’t ordered.
- You receive letters from lawyers or collection agencies and bailiffs on debts which you know nothing about.
- You notice transfers on your bank or credit card statements that you’ve never made.
- You no longer receive your usual bills and statements are no longer.
- You suddenly find yourself registered in your municipality under a different address without having changed your home address
- You cannot get a loan because of an alert by credit registration agency BKR.
- You will see one or more unknown employers on your pension or tax statements.
Reporting identity fraud
Report to the police immediately when you suspect you’ve fallen victim to identity fraud. Dial 0900-8844. If you’re calling from outside the Netherlands, please dial +31 900 8844.
To report identity theft with the CMI you must complete and submit a form. You must explain when you discovered you might be a victim of identity theft, what proof you have, the probable damage and whether you know who the probable perpetrator is. You must also provide personal details and explain what action you have taken.
The CMI provides a separate form to report errors in personal details recorded by public authorities.
CMI can be reached through the general Postbus 51 public information service on business days from 08.00 to 20.00 hours. Dial 0800-8051 (free). If you’re calling from outside the Netherlands, please dial +31 800 8051 (free)
ConsuWijzer is the Dutch government’s consumer information desk. It informs consumers about their rights and obligations, offering free advice. Consumers can submit questions, file a complaint, look up information, and download sample letters. ConsuWijzer aims to empower consumers, enabling them to fight for their rights and helping them overcome any obstacles they encounter.
If you can’t find the answer to your problem on the website, you can contact ConsuWijzer for practical advice. Questions may be asked in English, but the advice given will be in Dutch.
The website also features sample scripts and arguments for conversations with salespeople (to rehearse at home), as well as easy-to-understand legal information. In 2012, ConsuWijzer was voted best government website by Dutch consumers for the third consecutive year.
ConsuWijzer is a collaboration between three regulatory bodies that fall under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation: The Consumer Authority (CA), the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) and the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA). From 1 April 2013, these three authorities have joined forces in a new market authority: the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).
De Fraude Help Desk works with the Dutch police’s Financial and Economic Crime Programme, and in particular with its special reporting centres, such as the Internet Fraud reporting website and the Cyber crime reporting website.
The police will take your report and then make an appointment for an intake interview with a (financial) detective.
You can lodge an official criminal complaint with the police by phoning 0900-8844. If you’re calling from outside the Netherlands, please dial +31 900 8844..
If you feel you have been a victim of internet fraud on an online sales site, you can report the incident on www.mijnpolitie.nl. You only need your BSN Citizen Service Number to identify yourself.
Fill out the report form completely. Once you’ve hit the send button, your report will be filed in a database. A copy will be sent – without your personal details – to the internet sales site in question.
Within four weeks, police will decide whether to launch a preliminary criminal investigation. In that case, the Internet Fraud reporting website will ask you to convert your report to a formal criminal complaint.
Cyber crime refers to any crime that involves computers and networks such as internet and mobile phones. The Cyber Crime Reporting Website of the Dutch Police Services Agency deals with all reports relating to child pornography, sex tourism and terrorism (originating in the Netherlands) on or via the internet, on websites, chat rooms or forums.
Your report can lead to action being taken by the police, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) or the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). Your report be treated confidentially. It will help the authorities in their fight against internet crime.
Reporting cyber crime is not the same as lodging a criminal complaint. Victims of cyber crime can file a criminal complaint with the police. This is an official request to the police to investigate a criminal offence. The police will then draw up an official report. You can lodging a criminal complaint at your local police office.
PUBLIC SERVICE INSTITUTIONS
The Advertising Fraud Support Centre is a national foundation, which logs information from organisations that believe they have been defrauded or misled in connection with advertising contracts, website advertising, internet directory listings or spoof invoices.
Those who register with the foundation can receive legal assistance or preventive advice. Members of affiliated trade organisations can register for free.
Victims of advertising fraud are advised to report the incident to the Fraud Help Desk. The data they provide may enable the Fraud Help Desk to take swift action to prevent the scams from spreading further and making more victims. The same data may also help police and other law enforcement agencies to take measures to stop scams and punish the perpetrators.
In short, your reports can contribute to decisive action in the medium term to protect society against fraud.
Tel: 055 – 505 97 80 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 10:00 and 12:00h) Fax: 055 – 505 97 88
From outside the Netherlands, the number to phone is +31 55 505 97 80 and to fax: +31 55 505 97 85
Fraud Help Desk Tel: 088 – 7867372 (Monday to Friday between 10.00 and 17.00h). If you’re calling from outside the Netherlands, please dial +31 88 7867372.
You can contact the Legal Aid Board if you have a question related to Dutch laws and regulations. The Board will deal with questions related to dismissal or legal disputes or, for example, if you disagree with a local council’s decision to terminate your social benefit.
If you’re involved in a dispute, you can use the Board’s ‘Rechtwijzer’ (which translates as ‘signpost to justice’) to find out what action you can take and where you can turn to for help. The Rechtwijzer website offers several toolboxes including a step-by-step guide for writing an effective complaint letter.
Wanneer u een conflict heeft, kunt u met behulp van de Rechtwijzer er achter komen wat u kunt doen en wie u daarbij kunnen helpen. Met behulp van de Rechtwijzer kunt u ook een brief of bezwaarschrift opstellen.
If you have a complex legal problem and need advice, you can turn to the Legal Services Counter. They will advise you on what to do if you’re fired, how to prepare for a divorce or when you’re still able to exchange or return your purchases.
You can contact the Legal Services Counter on 0900 – 8020 (national line, 10 eurocents per minute).
The Dutch National Victim Support Organization offers free practical and legal advice, as well as emotional support, to victims (survivors, witnesses and others involved) of crime, violence, traffic accidents and calamities. The group aims to strengthen self-reliance and resilience on the part of the victim.
In the media and in politics, Slachtofferhulp NL acts as a lobbying interest group, committed to improving the position of victims in general and encouraging the development of knowledge in this area.
More details at www.slachtofferhulp.nl (in Dutch) Tel: 0900 0101 (national line)
The Public Prosecution Service, represented in ten court districts, decides who has to appear before a court and on what charge. It is the only body in the Netherlands that can decide to prosecute someone. Its field of work is criminal law and its mandate includes fraud. The Public Prosecution Service’s main tasks are investigating criminal offences, prosecuting offenders and supervising the enforcement of sentences.
The Public Prosecution Service is also responsible for supervising investigations carried out by other authorities, such as the municipal social services, and the Investigation Department of the General Inspection Service (AID).
The National Public Prosecutor’s Office for serious fraud and environmental Crime (Functioneel Parket or FP) is responsible for tackling fraud and environmental offences, and handles complex proceeds of crime cases.
Anyone who feels that an advertisement violates the Dutch Advertising Code may submit a complaint to the Advertising Code Committee. This independent body then decides whether this is the case. Decisions can be appealed to the Board of Appeal.
In the case of violation of the Code, the Committee will recommend the advertiser involved to discontinue change their way of advertising. The Committee’s Monitoring & Compliance Department, an independent body, will check whether the advertiser has put the recommendation into effect.
Established in 1963, the Advertising Code Authority has been the industry’s self-regulatory body for half a century. It has promoted sensible and responsible advertising as a way of boosting consumer confidence in advertising as well as encouraging honest competition and operational management on the part of advertisers. Detailed rules for advertisers are laid down in the Dutch Advertising Code.
The total cost of insurance fraud in the Netherlands is estimated to be more than 1 billion euros per year. This not only undermines confidence in the society, it also leads to unnecessary increases in the insurance premiums of honest consumers. Insurers find this socially unacceptable. Moreover, fraud in itself invariably damages the image, integrity and efficiency of the insurance industry. Tackling and preventing fraud is therefore high on the agenda of the Dutch Association of Insurers.
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) monitors consumer and business markets. It keeps of the latest trends and developments. ACM looks specifically at the energy, telecommunication, transport and postal services industries, and, more in general, at free enterprise and consumer protection law.
Through ConsuWijzer, ACM receives input from consumers and advises them on their rights and duties. ACM steps in when collective interests are at stake and will take action against businesses that don’t stick to the rules.
The Dutch Banking Association is committed to a strong, healthy and internationally competitive banking industry in the Netherlands. NVB represents the interests of the Dutch banking sector, works to strengthen market forces and takes the interests of its partners into account.
Banks occupy a key position in society. They are aware of their social responsibility and of the growing demand for transparency and openness. Consequently, one of their primary responsibilites is to ensure fraud prevention.
Chambers of Commerce (also known as Boards of Trade) are local organisations of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. They provide information on particular types of fraud impacting entrepreneurs and businesses, such as advertising fraud.
More information about corporate fraud:
The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (known as VNO-NCW) is the largest employers’ organisation in the Netherlands, representing the common interests of some 115,000 business enterprises both at home and abroad. Over 160 (branch) associations are members of VNO-NCW, which represents 90 percent of the Dutch workforce.
Netherlands Health Insurers represents the interests of companies that offer health insurance. In addition, the umbrella group focuses on fraud control, developing policies and instruments for health insurers to help them actively prevent, detect and sanction fraud.
Fraud endangers solidarity among insurance premium payers. It leads to higher premiums to cover the rising costs resulting from fraud. It means that a fraudulent minority makes a wider, honest majority of customers pay the price for their practices.
MKB stands for midden- en kleinbedrijf or small and medium-sized businesses (often known as SMEs in English). MKB Nederland represents the interests of 186,000 entrepeneurs, making it one of the country’s largest branch organisations. It gives high priority to fraud prevention and detection as these practices cost the Dutch business community many billions of euros annually.
Disclaimer: The Netherlands Fraud Help Desk strives to offer a helping hand as far as possible to individuals and business companies big and small to guard against fraud committed in or from the Netherlands. If necessary, Fraud Help Desk will refer to one of its partners. FHD accepts no liability for damages of any kind relating to risks associated with the referral to those partners.