People who register under the wrong residential address in the Personal Records Database (BRP) may be committing fraud. Examples include abusing child benefit and student finance schemes, or evading taxes, fines or other debts. The government wants to help combat address fraud by making address records more reliable.
Importance of reliable address records
All government bodies use the BRP, from local social services to the Tax and Customs Administration. If an address is incorrectly registered, schemes linked to that address can be used fraudulently. Address fraud costs the government – and taxpayers – millions of euros a year. So it’s in everyone’s interests that the records are right.
People can also be victims of address fraud, for example by receiving bills meant for other people, or losing their right to housing benefit because of ‘housemates’ who don’t exist.
Address investigation to improve address records
An address investigation is a way for government to improve the quality of address records in the BRP. It requires different government bodies to work together. The National Action Programme to Improve Address Quality only investigates addresses flagged by one or more government bodies. This prevents people being caused inconvenience for no reason and respects privacy legislation.
Home visits by municipalities to check signs of address fraud
Municipalities sometimes get alerts that an address may be incorrectly registered from central government bodies like the Tax and Customs Administration, the Central Fine Collection Agency or the police. Signs of possible address fraud include:
- too many inhabitants per square metre;
- post returned to sender;
- an unusual household registered at an address.
The municipality can launch an investigation based on these signs and, for example, carry out a home visit to find out if the address record is correct.
The investigation and home visit do not just uncover address fraud; they can also show that people need extra support, like care or help with debts. This helps more people receive services they’re entitled to.
Government bodies report doubts about addresses to the municipality
Public servants must report any doubts about address registration to the municipality (under section 2.34 of the Personal Records Database Act).
Check and change your own address registration
Are your details correctly registered in the BRP? You can check your own details via MijnOverheid (in Dutch only). You will need your DigiD. Inform your municipality of any change of address.