Police reveal new identity fraud scheme

According to a police report, the police are on the track of a new form of passport fraud by Eastern Europeans.

Eastern Europeans who are already registered in the Netherlands and come back with a new name can re-register at a municipality. This provides opportunities for fraudsters. A person registered under different names, can potentially receive the same benefits numerous times. He can also apply for several credit cards or take out loans.

These criminals have little to fear from the police. The report states that by changing his identity a sought criminal or undesirable EU citizen can create anonymity and stay in the Netherlands.

In at least 13 countries in Eastern Europe citizens can easily and legally change their names. According to Renate Marin, head of civil affairs in Romania, practically everyone in Romania qualifies for changing their names. A name change will cost about 10 to 15 euro and in principle you can change your name as often as you want.

The police do not have a clear picture of the size of this type of fraud, but a first search revealed almost 50 thousand names which could involve individuals who have multiple identities.

The police announced that the report has been shared with government departments that deal with immigration cases.