A 22-year-old man from Alkmaar has been arrested after phoning dozens of people and telling them a close relative had died.
The man posed as a police officer while making the calls. Police were able to trace him by analysing phone traffic. He is thought to have made at least 50 calls.
The man was arrested at his home on Monday and taken to The Hague for questioning. He will appear in court on Wednesday.
Police say the man, who has not given a motive for the calls, caused a great deal of upset with his actions. In some cases he said another family member was responsible for the deaths.
The police issued several warnings about the prankster, saying they always deliver bad news in person rather than on the phone.