Expats found to be particularly vulnerable to Dutch telephone scams
According to data from the Dutch Fraud Helpdesk (Fraudehelpdesk), the Netherlands saw an 18 percent increase in reported telephone scams in 2022, with the organisation's director reporting that expats are particularly vulnerable to fraud.
The Netherlands sees increase in telephone scams in 2022
As a non-governmental organisation, the Fraud Helpdesk aims to protect residents of the Netherlands from scams. Last year, the organisation received around 500.000 emails and phone calls from members of the public regarding scams or other attempts at fraud. Overall, NOS reports that the financial damage of scams amounted to over 43 million euros in 2022.
Interestingly, last year saw an 18 percent in the number of reported telephone scams, with Marloes Kolthof, the director of the Fraud Helpdesk, explaining to NOS that an increasing number of scams are perpetrated by highly educated individuals, who use the dark web to gather information that can be used to carry out scams.
Many scam operations carried out by phone make use of an English-language tape, with scammers posing as representatives from a bank, for example. Kolthof explains that, as many expats and internationals living and working in the Netherlands aren’t fully familiar with Dutch systems, they can be particularly vulnerable and are more likely to give their bank details to scammers or agree to transfer money over the phone.
Fraudehelpdesk: Don't share details or transfer money over the phone
Other common scams in 2022 included so-called web shop fraud, when customers see an offer online that appears perhaps too good to be true, but never receive their order. There was also an increase in reports of fraud involving the misuse of company data, leading to damage worth 12,5 million euros - an increase of 20 percent compared to 2021.
Speaking to NOS, Kolthof advised members of the public to be wary when they receive unexpected phone calls. “Never transfer money based on a phone call or text message,” she says, adding that it can be a good idea to take the time contact the company or organisation that is supposedly contacting you in order to be sure that the information you have received is correct.
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