August 4, 2021


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Minister wants to examine compensation law after WhatsApp fraud

Photo: ANP

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra is ready to examine whether the law can be changed to allow victims of bank fraud to be compensated via WhatsApp. In the meantime, however, he wants to step up the fight against fraud in cooperation with the banks. He also wants to make the remuneration system for the financial sector “clearer and milder”.

Hoekstra was called to parliament by VVD after a broadcast of the consumer program Radar about WhatsApp fraud and “spoofing”. People then receive a message or call from scammers, but clever tricks create the impression that their bank is trying to get in touch with them. This way, for example, they will be asked to transfer their funds to another account to secure the funds. For example, people sometimes send money to scammers’ accounts themselves.

According to Radar, scammers have already defrauded consumers for 20 million euros. Many parties want action to be taken. According to VVD, it is also important that the cabinet announces that it is okay if you fall for such a WhatsApp message or call. This “false shame” prevents many people from reporting the crime, says MP Roald van der Linde.

Hoekstra will speak to the banks with Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus about compensation and the fight against fraud. At the urging of the SP, the minister says he also wants to examine a change in the law. SP MP Michiel van Nispen wants banks to compensate the victims “and that the government, the investigation, the judiciary and the police do more to get the money from the criminals”. Hoekstra is unwilling to do this, but such a process can take a long time, warns the minister. In the meantime, he wants to see what he can already agree with the banks.