Hamburg News: Trade and Finance. High-class shopping area in the city centre shown.
Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht © HansOLG Pressestelle

Calling all start-ups: be wary of scam

Scammers sending fake invoices to newly-founded companies

A newly-founded company in Hamburg received a forged invoice for being entered in the commercial trade register in January. The invoice had been issued on behalf of the Hamburg District Court. The letter bears a strong resemblance to invoices issued by the Justizkasse Hamburg and is intended to convince the recipient that the bank details given are those of the Justizkasse Hamburg. Fears are mounting that the scam might spread.

Trick

The letter bears the Hanseatic coat of arms and is marked “Land Hamburg”. It identifies the Hamburg District Court as the “ordering department” and gives a payment number. The design, presentation and content of the forged letter resemble the real cost accounting at the court cashier’s office. The scammers make several references to the recent register number, which they probably found on the internet, and send the letter before the real one arrives.

Gefälschte Zahlungsaufforderung
© HansOLG Pressestelle

Distinguishing between forged and real letters

Recipients are advised to check carefully the content of all letters linked to registration or publication in the commercial or associations’ register. The scammers aim to include previously published company data in privately operated databases for a fee. Registering a GmbH costs about EUR 150 Euro and EUR 75 for a new association the payment of which non-profit associations are exempted. Invoices for entry in a register managed and published by the Hamburg District Court are issued exclusively by the Hamburg Court Register (Justizkasse Hamburg). The payee is the “Kasse.Hamburg”. A bank account with the Deutsche Bundesbank Hamburg is given.
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Sources and further information:
www.justiz.hamburg.de

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