The Austrian red tape invoice scam

"Oh, just pay the damn thing." 

A group of criminals figured out a sneaky way to steal money from Austrian companies. 

It's a slight variation on the scam where scammers send companies a fake invoice.

Since information on companies in Austria who've made changes to their registration information is publicly available, the crooks looked up which companies had recently made changes, and then sent them an official-looking invoice billing them for the change.

There's actually no charge for the service, but companies assumed that the fee was just another part of the government's red tape, so they willingly paid the fee.

Before they were caught, the criminal's fake invoice scheme enabled them to steal money from over 1,500 companies.

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