European registration

This certainly applies to the invoice that has been sent to many European trademark holders in recent weeks. The letterhead above the bill is a copy of the logo of the ‘real’ European Trademarks Office. The costs for ‘registration’ are quite reasonable: € 910, to be paid into a Polish bank account (hey, that seems a bit odd). Nevertheless, there is a good chance that many trademark owners were fooled by this in recent weeks.

Fake Invoice
The phantom invoice on the left, the ‘real’ European Trademark Office on the right. Don’t see any difference? Correct! It is an exact copy


But they also trying to swindle you when it comes to domain names. For example, fraudster DNS Service NL sends out proper-looking invoices for ‘domain registration Period 2020/2021’. They don’t mention which domain they are talking about, but they do mention that there is an attractive € 24 ‘DNS/Service costs discount’. Not bad for an amount of € 146.90 ex. VAT! Better pay it fast is what many entrepreneurs will think.

The tips are obvious:

  • don’t blindly trust all fancy, official-looking invoices
  • read the small print: it usually says that it’s not an invoice but ‘an offer’
  • when in doubt, give us a call, we can often see at a glance whether or not it’s real