For the last couple of months, people in the Netherlands have received phishing calls, in which cyber-criminals try to get personal information, like your BSN number, or money.
The callers often pretend to be from the National Police, Court of Justice, or other government organizations. When victims answer the phone, they hear a prerecorded message in English, which is usually something like, “your social security number is being misused” or “you have an arrest warrant against you.” Victims are then asked to enter a number, after which they are transferred to an “agent” or police officer, who asks them for more information or to transfer money. In other cases, the receiver of the phone call is asked to download software that will eventually allow the caller access to your computer and your bank account.
The phone number
The calls seem to come from a random Dutch mobile number, or from the Supreme Court or the central government. In reality, these telephone numbers have been ‘spoofed’. In spoofing, cyber-criminals take on a different identiy. It may seem like you receive a call by an organization, but most mobile numbers are from private individuals who have nothing to do with it.
The Expat Centre Leiden, or any other organization, will never ask for your personal details via phone, or ask you to transfer money. Hang up the phone if you receive a call from someone pretending to be the ECL. You can always contact us yourself to verify.
What to do
If you receive such a call, hang up the phone immediately.
Have you alread transfered money? Please call your bank as soon as possible! You can find the contact details of banks in the Netherlands on our banking page.
Disconnect from the internet as soon as possible if you have installed a program on your computer, and check for viruses and malicious software.
Also make sure to file a report with the police about this.