Over the past weeks, the Dutch police took down ten web shops who were selling coronavirus related scams. These online stores offered items ranging from antibacterial bank cards, to a Covid-19 tracker, and included multiple web shops offering medical masks for sale, the police said in a statement.
Medical masks seem to be a new hot commodity in the criminal world. Recently the police arrested two people in Dordrecht for trying to scam hospitals into buying non-existent masks for high amounts. And masks were stolen from a care institution in Putten.
Last week, the police received reports from multiple Dutch hospitals saying they were being offered a large batch of medical masks, for which they had to pay millions of euros. The police immediately suspected a scam and started an investigation.
Another 19 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in the Netherlands since Monday, Dutch public health agency RIVM announced. It brings the total number of fatalities in the coronavirus crisis to 43.
The Netherlands' authority on consumers and markets ACM and Dutch telecom providers together revoked 100 numbers that where used for fake help desks to scam people, ACM announced on Wednesday.
Over the past two years banks ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, and the Volksbank received nearly 5 thousand reports of help desk fraud amounting in almost 5.3 million euros in damages, NU.nl reported based on figures received from the Public Prosecution Service (OM). The banks' reports seem to contradict previous statements from the OM that help desk fraud is decreasing, the newspaper wrote.
Victims of dating fraud were scammed out of a total of 3,744,300 euros last year, almost double the 1,651,769 euros stolen from dating fraud victims two years ago, NU.nl reports based on figures from the Fraud Help Desk.
Last year, the Fraud Help Desk received 639 reports of dating fraud, compared to 412 in 2018. A total of 259 people fell victim to scams by someone pretending to date them in 2019. Victims were therefore scammed out of 14,457 euros on average.
Last year people in the Netherlands lost 1,056,805 euros to scams committed through WhatsApp, quadruple the 262,879 euros in damages sustained in 2018, NU.nl reports based on figures from the Fraud Help Desk.
In 2019, the Fraud Help Desk received 2,663 reports of WhatsApp fraud and 353 people actually fell victim to these scams, compared to 655 report and 124 victims in 2018. In the first two weeks of 2020, the hotline received 112 reports of scams and nine people reported falling victim to the scammers, losing over 38 thousand euros.
At least a quarter of elderly people in the Netherlands have been targeted by scammers who tried to chat their way into their homes. Over a fifth of targeted people had money or other valuables stolen, according to a study by seniors' organization KBO-PCOB among 1,300 senior citizens. The organization called for measures, AD reports.
Police in Venlo arrested four men accused of ripping off the Holland Casino location there. The suspects were also persons of interest in similar crimes investigated by Interpol, and may have targeted other casinos in Europe including in the Netherlands.
Officers said the suspects tried to manipulate the results of an automatic roulette machine by first breaking the lid, then lifting the glass off the game. “After that, the ball was probably stopped in the ‘right’ box after which it registered a ‘win,’” police said in a statement.
So far this year almost 15 thousand Dutch have fallen victim to phishing scams, the Fraud Help Desk announced on Friday based on the reports it received. Over 1.1 million euros were stolen in these scams, compared to 862 thousand euros in damages throughout all of 2018, NU.nl reports.
A 51-year-old woman from Rotterdam was sentenced to 15 months in prison, five of which conditionally suspended, by the court in The Hague on Tuesday. She was found guilty of fraud. She stole 1.1 million euros from her employer and transferred this full amount to the foreign bank account of her online love interest, NU.nl reports.
The police arrested three men on th A16 highway near Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht on Sunday night for impersonating police officers and trying to fine tourists. They were dressed in clothes that resemble the Dutch police uniform, the Dordrecht police said on Facebook.
At a parking lot on the A16, the fake cops asked a tourist for his ID documents. The tourist did not trust the situation and called the police. The fake cops fled towards Rotterdam.
Marktplaats teamed up with the police and banks in the fight against payment fraud. From now on the online market place will warn users if they are sent to an unknown or unofficial payment page, the police announced on its website.
Tickets for the Champions League semi final match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur in Amsterdam next week have already sold out. Desperate fans are searching online trading sites for a way to still see the match, where tickets are being offered at sky-high prices. Beware of scammers, the Dutch police warn.
A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of scamming multiple women throughout the Netherlands. According to the police, the man pretended to be 'the ideal marriage candidate' and then stole tens of thousands of euros from the women. The Amsterdam police are looking for more women who may have fallen victim to the Gelderland man's scheme, NU.nl reports.
Couple 62-year-old Jan V. and 53-year-old Jolanda H. scammed a total of 62 owners of hotels and B&B's out of 20 thousand euros by staying in the establishments and leaving without paying the bill, was revealed in the court of Assen. The Public Prosecutor demanded 4 and 3 years in prison against them respectively. The couple confessed to everything, AD reports.
A man was scammed out of 26 bitcoins in an Amsterdam hotel on Thursday. He was approached online by someone who wanted to buy 26 bitcoins from him for 180 thousand euros in cash, around 24 thousand more than the bitcoins were worth at that time. But the money he was paid turned out to be fake, the police said on Facebook.
The man agreed to meet the bitcoin buyers in an Amsterdam hotel. They showed him the cash, and he transferred the bitcoins to them. Once the transaction was done, the scammers handed over the bag of cash and left.
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.
Last year nearly two thousand Dutch people fell victim to scammers pretending to be Microsoft employees. In total the Dutch victims were swindled out of around 7 million euros. One victim was duped for 98 thousand euros, the police said on Tuesday.
The Netherlands' Fraud Helpdesk is noticing a considerable increase in the number of fraud reports revolving around cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are no exact figures yet about how many people reported Bitcoin fraud to the helpdesk, but that this type of fraud is increasingly common is very clear, Tanya Wijngaarden of the helpdesk said to BNR.
Joost van Doorn - believed to be a Dutch man behind an Ethereum-based startup called Confido - apparently disappeared with around 318 thousand euros of his investors money. It is not quite clear whether Joost van Doorn actually exists, but it seems increasingly clear that the people who paid for the Confido launch will not see their money again, RTL Nieuws reports.
A 33-year-old woman was arrested last week on suspicion of money laundering in a Marktplaats scam. The Rotterdam police believe the woman let fraudsters use her bank account for their scam, which involved selling non existent text books to students via online shopping platform Marktplaats, AD reports.
This investigation has been running since 2015, when a total of 108 victims reported being scammed. They bought text books on Marktplaats, paid the money but never received the books. The total amount of damages was over 4 thousand euros.
The Dutch police issued a warning about a scam in which fake Microsoft employees gain access to their victims' computers by telling them they want to help them solve a problem. Over 2016 and in the first half of this year no less than 1,900 Dutch fell victim to this scam, losing hundreds of thousands of euros in total. "If you are called by a Microsoft employee: hang up immediately!" the police warn.
The Bunschoten-Spakenburg police issued a warning against donating money to any fundraising campaigns for the family of Savannah Dekker, who was found killed in Bunschoten on Sunday. The 14-year-old girl's family is not aware of and hasn't approved any fundraising actions, the police write on Facebook.
"Social involvement is appreciated. However, fundraising actions for Savannah's family, are not in the name of the family. Be aware of where you donate your money."