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Beware of fraud: False invoices from the local court in circulation!

Tax advice

Invoices are currently circulating again that allegedly originate from a local court. We are aware of several cases that specifically concern the Krefeld district court. The invoices are similar to the fraud cases that were circulating in late summer 2023. Such fraudulent incidents seem to be occurring more frequently at the moment, particularly in the context of newly founded companies. Before the expected genuine invoice from the local court, the founder receives a false invoice with a very short payment deadline. Particular caution is therefore currently required in these cases. To protect yourself from this type of fraud, it is important to recognize the following warning signs and know how to defend yourself against them.

1. no letterhead with contact person and contact details:
Genuine invoices or requests for payment from the local court should always contain an official letterhead with the relevant contact person and contact details. If this information is missing, this is usually a first indication that an attempt at fraud may have been made.

2. very short payment deadline:
Another indication of fraudulent intentions is the setting of a very short payment deadline, which is almost impossible to meet. In current fake letters, this is 3 days. This period is unrealistic and aims to put pressure on the recipient. Correct invoices from the local court are always issued with reasonable deadlines (e.g. 14 days).

3. foreign bank details:
Attention should also be paid to the bank details in all cases. Official invoices from German authorities always have domestic bank details. The presence of foreign bank details should arouse suspicion and be regarded as a further warning signal.

4. check the e-mail address for digital receipts:
It is advisable to check the sender's email address carefully, especially when invoices are received digitally. Official communication from the local court should come from an official and verified address.

If you receive a suspicious invoice, we advise you not to pay it. Instead, the following steps should be taken:

1. report the incident to the police:
Fraud attempts should be reported immediately to the local police station. They can take the necessary steps and carry out further investigations.

2. inform the Krefeld district court:
In addition to the police, the real Krefeld district court should also be informed of the attempted fraud in all cases. This enables the authorities to protect other citizens from similar schemes.

Vigilance is crucial to protect yourself from fraud. If in doubt, citizens should always check with the relevant authorities before responding to requests for payment.

Our team is also available to provide support in the area of IT security. We offer advice and auditing services to provide optimum protection against digital threats. Further information can be found here.