Update: Feb. 22, 2011 Two days after the media reported the fraudulent activities described below, the website has disappeared.
DutchAmsterdam.nl — The City of Amsterdam has posted a warning on its official website stating that an organization is mailing invoices to local businesses for listings in ‘the municipal guide.’
The City says the organization is also sending out invoices to entrepreneurs who register on the company’s website, www.gemeentegids-2012.nl.
‘Gemeentegids’ is Dutch for ‘Municipal Guide.’ The website says business owners can register at the site for ‘the municipal guide.’
However, a spokesperson for the Municipality of Amsterdam says it is not in any way involved in the publication of the guide, nor does it have anything to do with the website.
The website in question prominently features links to the official websites of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Enschede.
In January anti-fraud organization SAF said it has received many reports regarding the website’s publisher, Regioburo Schut.
According to SAF the company mails out invoices to companies asking them to pay € 220.– for advertisements allegedly published at the website www.zakelijke-nummers.nl. The companies state they have not authorized placement of such ads and in any case never even had the intention to do so.
SAF says companies that receive an invoice they believe to be fake should alert the organization. They should then contact Regioburo Schut via registered mail, asking it to provide documentation of the alleged contract.
In Amsterdam, each of the city’s seven boroughs publishes its own local municipal guide.
The City is looking into the possibilities of legal action against Regioburo Schut’s website.
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