Scammers using the name of the European Commission
Beware of scams using the name of the European Commission – a case of fake letters sent to citizens demanding payment of taxes has been discovered
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that we have become aware of scam letters which fraudsters have been sending to citizens that:
- inform of the existence of an outstanding tax debt;
- demand immediate payment;
- threaten legal action in case of non-payment;
- claim to be sent by the “Tax Administration of the European Commission”;
- bear the logo of the European Commission; and
- are signed by an official of the “Taxation and Customs” of the European Commission.
This is a scam and no action should be taken in response to the demands in such letters.
Please note, that the European Commission and its departments never send individual letters to citizens regarding their tax status or to demand payment of taxes. The taxation of individuals, including setting the tax rates, determining the tax base and the subsequent collection of the tax debt, is an exclusive competence of EU Member States.
If you have already received such a letter, you are advised to immediately terminate all further contacts with the fraudsters and to contact your local tax authority. If you have already acted on such a letter and have transferred funds to the fraudsters, you are advised to contact both your tax authority and your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
The European Commission takes very seriously such fraudulent use of its name, logo and reputation. We are therefore assessing what action we can take with the law enforcement authorities of Members States to discontinue the reported scam and to possibly prosecute those responsible. Any such action will not, however, be a remedy for any individual loss suffered as a result of the scam, for which civil and/or criminal action at national level is the only remedy.
Citizens that have received such letters should forward them to: EC-SECURITY-VOLS-DELITS@ec.europa.eu
- Publication date
- 10 December 2017
- Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union