Recently, there have been news in Finland about how unknown people have managed to get themselves listed as company board members in official data sources by sending fake applications to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office - PRH. Typically, the composition of the company’s board of directors is changed without the knowledge of the company’s owner and the real board.
The fraud is possible because the Patent and Registration Board also receive and accept paper notifications for reporting changes in company’s responsible persons. With the help of fake sales documentation and general meeting papers, a fraudster may get listed as a company board member or as a CEO without being detected.
By getting themselves registered, a fraudster can, for e.g., order services and goods in the company’s name, request access to the company’s bank accounts, update the company’s contact information and cause many other disturbances.
Take the following steps to protect your company from the scams:
- notify Patent and Registration Office and the Tax Administration that the trade register applications for the company can be submitted only electronically
- enter your company’s email address in the trade register, in which case you will automatically receive a notification by email about all changes and applications
- check your company’s information from time to time in the trade register and public sources
In case of possible scams and business takeovers, you should immediately contact the trade register and, if necessary, the police. More information is available from the Patent and Registration Office’s website.
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