Fake tax authorities scammed millions from Dutch entrepreneurs
The Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD arrested six men on Tuesday in a fraud investigation. The men, aged 20 to 39 years, are suspected of posing as tax employees and scamming millions of euros from Dutch entrepreneurs. The police and FIOD received over 170 reports from victims. In total the criminal gang stole over 2.2 million euros, NU.nl reports.
The police also raided five homes in Arnhem and seized administration, cash, bank cards, a Mercedes and the pin numbers of 'money mules' - people whose bank accounts were abused for criminal purposes.
The suspects called entrepreneurs posing as employees of the Tax Authority and told them that they had outstanding tax debts and fines that had to be paid immediately, or their assets would be seized. They gave their victims the bank account number the money had to be paid in, saying it belonged to the Tax Authority. The victims had to transfer the money while on the phone with the scammers.
After the money was transferred, and while the victims were still on the phone with the scammers, 'money mules' were sent to withdraw the money. The police believe that some of these mules were not cooperating voluntarily, but were working under threat.
FIOD and the police plan to arrest dozens of directly involved money mules in the coming days. More than 200 other money mules will be invited to voluntarily be questioned as a suspect.
FIOD emphatically states that the Tax Authority may call you about an outstanding tax debt, but will never instruct you to transfer money immediately. Should a tax employee tell you to do so, hang up the phone and inform the police, FIOD recommends.