EU VAT Registration Scam

Trading Standards officers are warning of a European scam that could cost people more than £3,000.

It centres on an official-looking letter from a German company relating to the ‘Publication of companies and VAT Registration Numbers in the UK Corporate Portal 2013’.

It states: “As part of the changes to the EU economic package, obligating all companies to provide their VAT Registration Number on various documents since 2010, we as a publisher of leading internet portals are required to update our database. We therefore request that you check the information on page 2 relating to your company and provide us with your VAT Registration Number.”

The letter suggests that information must be provided to the company and it comes with a form to be completed. But the small print shows that if it is completed and returned it will incur a charge of £797 a year for at least four years for the information to appear on a website hosted by the company.

The application for the database entry in the UK Corporate Portal is addressed to companies, self-employed people, institutions and public authorities.

Although the letter looks official, the information requested does not have to be provided to the company and entries do not have to appear on the company’s website or portal.

Anyone who receives a letter from the company — TVV Tele Verzeichnis Verlag GmbH —  should not complete or return the form that accompanies it unless they are prepared to pay the £797 each year.


Update: 09/01/2015

Copy of letter received by Suffolk business below:

TW Tele

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

14 Responses to EU VAT Registration Scam

  1. kerry rowell says:

    What support are you actually providing to those small businesses that assume this is something from the UK Customs and Exercise and sign? The application is on the same paper the government uses and even the type font is the same. Some action needs tone taken against this company which appears to have fleeced people in Flanders, Croatia and all over Europe.

    • As with all scams, ensuring that we publicise the scam we can help to make sure there is awareness.

      Those that have been affected by the scam need to report it so that the fraud can be investigated.

      • Lara Kinnett says:

        I have been one of the stupid people to fall for this. I now have the invoice e.t.c. I feel sick!!!! What shall I do and who do I report it too? I assume I do not pay them (I cant anyway!)

      • Hi Lara,

        Please give our advisors a call on 08454 040506. We’d be grateful to get more information about your correspondence with this company, and then they can offer you full advice on how to deal with the invoice.

      • Samo says:

        Has anyone solve anything with those scammers? I have been one of those stupid people to fall for this as well. Lara, did you solve anything?

  2. Michael Kayes says:

    Don’t pay for it, they cannot enforce it

  3. judi says:

    I have just received this letter (13th Feb 2014) so I guess nothing is stopping these scam merchants. It makes my blood boil!!!!!

  4. Richard says:

    Scam still going on May 2014

  5. Philip says:

    Hi everyone who was involved with this horrible scam , I got home one night late to find this scam letter ,filled it all in as requested signed it thinking it was from genuine inland rev , only to receive the demand and several more demands at later dates 😔followed by several very worried no sleep nights and even more stress when solicitors were almost involved 😒only to have my mind then put at rest by trading standard woman who was wonderful! ! It taught me a lesson don’t !! Sign anything or take anything for granted !!! ,,,glad to hear from any one who fell for this like I did , Not naive , just trusting ! X.

  6. judi says:

    I posted on here back in February as I had received a letter from these scam merchants in the post. I have just had a fax come through with the same scam! This needs to be brought to the public attention. I have seen nothing in the news etc to warn people. I had to do a google search to find out what it was all about. Rotten thieving scam merchants.

  7. Graham says:

    Yep my secretary came to me with the letter in March 2014 and asked me to sign the document which I did not reading it as I thought she had, only to get a bill on 1st July 2014 for £797 and then on 2nd July someone calling me to ask how I was going to pay? I looked on the portal and it does not give much info. If i had read it i would not of signed it. I did not know about it until I googled it and it brought me here. Has any of the above people who have had the bill through not paid it and if so what has happened?? Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Graham

  8. Pingback: VAT Registration scam - GiaKonda LtdGiaKonda Ltd

  9. Rosie says:

    We received this letter earlier this week so they are still at it in 2015. It looks plausible other than there is no sender’s address printed on the actual letter.

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