Advertising fraud, also known as acquisition fraud, can take many forms. Mostly these misleading marketing practices involve advertisement offers, business directory listings, payment forms, internet domain name and trademark protection scams. They can also take the shape of and misleading ‘business opportunity’, ‘work from home’ or ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes.
Companies usually receive a telephone call or a fake invoice. The scams are often very sophisticated, to the extent that companies are not even aware that they have agreed to a contract they never wanted.
Legislation is underway in the Netherlands which will offer Dutch companies better protection against these misleading business practices. It has the support of several organisations, including the Fraud Help Desk, the Dutch Employers’ Organisation and SMEs Netherlands. These parties involved want acquisition fraud to be classified as a punishable offence.