Tax investigators' swamped by coronavirus fraud reports

The Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD has its hands full investigating hundreds of reports of fraud relating to the coronavirus crisis. "Malicious people see corona as a revenue model," FIOD team leader Martine Suijkerbuijk said to the Telegraaf. 

The vast majority of tips involve scams with protective gear, like "sellers" offering nonexistent medical masks for exorbitant prices. Over the past weeks, there were also increasing signs of the aid measure for self-employed being abused, according to the newspaper.

The FIOD is investigating each report and recently adopted a new approach to stop the scams as quickly as possible. In many cases, FIOD investigators will visit a suspect as soon as they are identified, without detaining them. "We ring the bell and say: 'Listen, we are watching you. Stop it'," Suikerbuijk said to the newspaper.