Dutch regulator warns consumers over scam debt collection
The Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has issued a warning to people about a series of scam phone calls and emails seeking payment on gambling debts.
Lootsma & Partners, Deurwaarder Smits & Co and Inter Payment Service have all been named as collection agencies that are contacting consumers over supposed debts, including some related to gambling.
Agencies are said to be putting people under pressure to pay bills, threatening consumers with measures such as seizure of goods or bank accounts if they fail to pay.
However, the ACM has said some of these debts are years old, while with others, there is no agreement in place at all, meaning any such claim is unjustified.
As such, the ACM is urging consumers not to pay the supposed debt, saying the agencies in question are part of the same network that enforces payment of incorrect claims under varying names.
The ACM has also said that none of the agencies are registered with the Chamber of Commerce, which is mandatory for all companies active in the Netherlands.
In addition, the ACM has noted that none of the agencies have the power to seize goods, with such action only possible through an official bailiff once approved by a judge.