Ghost invoices, ghost invoices, fake invoices. Who do they send?

It often happens: clandestine companies send phantom invoices that can hardly be distinguished from real ones. Every day, companies, foundations and governments fall victim to so-called acquisition fraud. What can you do about ghost invoices and who sends them?

Ghost invoices

Ghost invoices are false invoices, often indistinguishable from real ones. The companies that send them have become increasingly brazen over the years. They do not hesitate to use logos of existing, often very reputable companies such as banks and Microsoft. Since these scammers are getting smarter and know the loopholes in the law, it is difficult to take action against them. So the motto is to pay attention, because millions of euros are lost every year on ghost invoices.

What to do with a ghost invoice?

A few tips:

  • Never pay an invoice without checking whether you have purchased a service or product from the company
  • Read the invoice carefully and pay attention to the small print. Once paid, it is virtually impossible to reclaim the amount.
  • Do not accept email offers
  • Never just sign a fax, but check whether you have done business with the company
  • Check whether the sender is listed at the Acquisition Fraud Support Center. The companies are listed later in this article.
  • Scammers try to build a relationship of trust with you. They manipulate you into thinking that everything is fine. Don’t fall for that.
  • Ghost invoices often contain features that indicate that a customer relationship already exists. That is not the case.
  • Inquire with the Chamber of Commerce whether the company is registered.

Have you fallen for it after all? Report this to the Acquisition Fraud Support Center via the website www.fraudemeldpunt.nl

Fraudulent companies

The companies below are known for regularly sending ghost invoices:

  • 185 Online
  • AKO Media Service Bureau
  • Benelux Business House
  • Companies Register Trade
  • Business Register Trade
  • Belgium Parcel Service
  • BIZ Telephone Directory
  • BMS
  • BTG from Amsterdam (active in 2012)
  • Bureau Metea, send invoices for a hospital color guide
  • Central Business Documentation
  • Construction Data
  • Commercial Center for Industry and Trade
  • Central Data Register of International Patents
  • Central Patent Database
  • Central Patent and Trademark Database
  • Central Business Administration
  • Central Business Registration
  • Central Business Register (with a new format of ghost invoices)
  • Central Business Register sends ghost invoices for the 2012 edition (and there are none)
  • Commercial Center for Industry and Trade
  • Credit Check Holding
  • Consult Group (ghost invoices via the internet)
  • Custom Contact Netherlands
  • CPTD
  • Data Service
  • German Address Service
  • De Goudentelefoongids.nl
  • Daygr.com
  • DSN
  • Dutch Windmill Publishers
  • Eimers Administratiekantoor for non-existent business directories 2012
  • Euro Business Guide
  • Euroguide.de
  • European City Guide
  • Easy Pages Ltd
  • Edition Hekking Cornelis
  • EPTR European Patent and Trademark Register
  • EWuropean Rade marks and Designs
  • Euro Credit Management
  • Eurex.eu
  • European Institute for the Environment and Business (very active in January 2012!)
  • ExpoGuide
  • Federated Institute for Patent and Trademark Registry
  • Famous Muntlimedia (for city guides in 2012)
  • Flex Bedrijvengids.nl
  • Company unknown in the municipality of Bergen sends ghost invoices for the municipal guide Bergen 2012 a 428.00
  • In the municipality of Heerde, an unknown company sends ghost invoices for the Heerde 2012 municipal guide
  • Gaia Almanach
  • Getty image UK
  • Guide for the ville
  • Globe Trade Control
  • Global Earth Register
  • Yellow Business Guide
  • HNKB The Dutch Quality Register for Companies
  • Trade registration for SMEs
  • Holdin BV Advertising Management
  • One hundred and eighty-fiveonline 185 online
  • IBFTPR Corp
  • IBR International Business Register
  • Ibip International Bureau for Intellectual Property
  • Index Entreprise
  • Inet Biz Solutions
  • Intercable Verlag
  • IRD
  • INCO Group (via email)
  • International Organization for Patent and Trademark Service
  • Internettelefoongids.nl
  • Internet registration service
  • Internet Registration Service (new format of ghost invoices)
  • Internet Solutions NL
  • Intellectual Office Property Register
  • Internet Recreation Guide
  • IPV6 Registry
  • IOPR Intellectual Office Porperty Register
  • IOPTS
  • Office for Chamber of Commerce Customers
  • Chapel Internet Marketing
  • Trade Registration
  • National Telephone Directory
  • Easily found
  • MCH Printing Service
  • Media Belgiique Design
  • Media Bureau Netherlands
  • Media Connect
  • Media Group Flanders
  • Media Innofaith
  • Media and Marketing Groningen for the non-existent website www.zoek-bedrijven-in
  • Media perspective
  • Media Print
  • SME Registration Service
  • Multimedia Agency Spotlight
  • Dutch Trade Registration
  • Netherlands Media Register
  • Dutch Business Documentation
  • Network Media Group
  • New Business Guide
  • NMG
  • Dutch Companies Documentation from Arnhem (Active in January 2012)
  • Office Data Management
  • Office Center Netherlands from Schiphol-Airport (active in March 2012 sends fake invoices for CMS Pack Advantage of 250 euros)
  • Online Web Media
  • Online Data Register
  • Office Direct 24
  • Open Source Apeldoorn
  • OHMI
  • PanWorldLife
  • Paper Products Placements
  • Patent Trademark Register
  • Perdiso
  • Print Media Group/Map
  • Proweb Office Products
  • PC Office Service BV
  • Registre des professionelles branches
  • Region Online
  • Regionalezakengids.nl
  • Regioburo Schut (for guides in 2012)
  • RetailManager.nl
  • Advertising and Consultancy Agency Aaf
  • RIPT
  • Service Pro/Eurl Media Press
  • Structural Fund for the Groningen Region Stimulation
  • S&D Media (active in Hardenberg)
  • TeleInfobel
  • Teledienst.nl
  • Tele Info Media
  • Tele Verzeichnis Erlag
  • TM Selection GMBH
  • TM Collections or TM Collection
  • TMP
  • TVV Tele Verzeichnis Verlag GmbH/Ondernemings Poortaal
  • United Lda/Nova Channel/Temdi/Med1Web
  • UK 24
  • Varemark Organization Danmark
  • Vinduwfirma.nl
  • WBIP
  • WDTP
  • World Business Guide
  • World Company Register/World Company Directory
  • World Trade Company
  • WPTI
  • WZD
  • Yellow Pages
  • Business Specialists Page