A total of 160 expats have reported attempts to scam them out of cash by people posing as workers at the IND immigration service, and at least 10 attempts have succeeded, according to the Dutch justice ministry.
The first report came on March 7th 2016, a spokeswoman for the justice ministry told DutchNews.nl, and at least 10 people have been tricked into transferring sometimes thousands of euros to the fraudsters since then.
According to a report in Trouw on Thursday, the so-called ‘spoofers’ probably use an app, easy to find on the internet, to make a number flash up on the receiver’s telephone and make the call look as though it is from a Dutch government department.
Then, as alleged victims previously reported to DutchNews.nl and the Volkskrant, the fraudsters claim there is something wrong with the victim’s immigration papers and ask for a fine of €1000 or more to be paid – threatening police action or deportation otherwise.
According to Trouw, an internal investigation at the IND found that there was no evidence that calls were being made from within the service or that confidential information was leaked from the government.
The IND made a report of stolen identity to the police in May 2016, the justice ministry confirmed, while at least one pair of victims from India are believed to have filed a report for police to investigate.
There is a page on the IND’s website – in Dutch – warning people about the scam, dated October 2016, but apparently no further attempts have been made to alert expats.
DutchNews.nl is awaiting a further response from the justice ministry.
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