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01 Feb 2018
Listen to scammers phoning newcomers to the Netherlands

Fraudsters are targeting migrants who have just arrived in the Netherlands. They are cold-calling these newcomers posing as Immigration officials or Ministry of Justice and Security staff and demanding money.

The extent of this fraud is difficult to gauge. Some of the victims have reported to Fraud Help Desk. They have recently moved to the Netherlands and all have had been in touch with the Netherlands Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

Spoofing
When victims are called, they see the official IND or Ministry of Justice and Security phone number on their displays. Apparently, the scammers have managed to spoof these numbers. They tell the newcomers that they are illegal aliens and threaten them with arrest warrants. The victims are told they can solve the problem by paying a certain amount immediately.

These phone calls are very intimidating, particularly because the scammers seem to have gathered a lot of information about their targets, including their names, addresses, etc. It’s unclear where this information comes from. In addition, the callers sound very insistent, instilling fear in their victims and prompting them to pay the requested amount.

Sound recording
One of the immigrants who reported made a recording of a number of conversations he had with the scammer. The scammer speaks English with an Indian accent (like the victim). Other conversations have preceded this call. The scammer tells the man to pay € 600 in order to have an arrest warrant retracted.

The man doesn’t believe the story and reports to the police. The scammer phones again and once again the victim records the conversation. In this recording, you can hear the scammer talking to a Dutch police officer. The scammer says he’s calling on behalf of the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security. When the policeman tells him that these things should be discussed in a face-to-face meeting and not on the telephone, the con artist hangs up the phone.

Photo © Leonard Chien/Flickr.comCC NC-SA 2.0.

Related story: Expats in the Netherlands targeted by identity fraudsters