ERC: Warning against European Register of Commerce
Currently, countless forms are being sent out across Europe bearing the header „European Register of Commerce“. The layout of this ERC form resembles an official communication. The barcode in the top right-hand corner also contributes to this. The subject of the form is stated as „The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)“.
Content of the European Register of Commerce Form
The content of the form begins in a very unassuming manner, in that ERC makes reference to the GDPR:
„In accordance with the new European General Data Protection Regulation GDPR, which came into force on May 25,2018, we are obliged to inform 2 you of the data we have stored about your company. Please verify your current data for accuracy and completeness and correct it if necessary in the section below. European Register of Commerce will update your company’s data upon receipt of your information. Please verify the accuracy of (7, your data and ensure it is approved. It will be used for a chargeable entry that is graphically designed with many features in the European Register of Commerce, which contains exclusively company data issued and confirmed by corporate clients and that is therefore more reliable than it is common on the Internet. Data containing exclusively private information, will not be registered in the European Register of Commerce. In case p that you have been contacted erroneously, we kindly ask you to inform us accordingly should you not want to be registered. European Register of g Commerce is not affiliated with any organization or institution of the European Union or Commission.“
Recipients are then asked to check the company information and confirm by signing. The form should then be returned to ERC. However, the real catch is hidden in the small print, according to which an annual fee of €977 must be paid and the agreement shall run for a term of three years. This means that a total fee of around €3,000 must be paid:
„Order: We hereby confirm the accuracy of our company’s data as per the information given above and we hereby place an order with DAD GmbH (Publisher) to publish them in a graphically highlighted form on www.eu-reg.eu according to the general terms and conditions printed overleaf. We accept the advertisement’s annual costs of 977,- Euro, which are payable in advance upon receipt of the invoice. We acknowledge that the contract is valid for the next three years and subsequently will be automatically extended annually unless we provide a written notice requesting termination of the contract, this being no later than three months before the expiration of the contract’s term. We are only able to revoke the contract by registered letter within fourteen days of the order date; whereby the date of postage is decisive. We authorize the Publisher to use contents found on our website for the layout of our insertion. We acknowledge Hamburg-Mitte as place of performance and jurisdiction and that German law is solely applicable. We confirm that prior to this order placement we had no business relationship with the Publisher. We agree that our company’s data will be stored electronically. We can find the new General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) on www.eu-reg.eu/dataprotection.“
What is hiding behind the European Register of Commerce?
The party responsible for this scam is DAD GmbH from Hamburg in Germany. We have already represented countless clients against this company and have always succeeded in ensuring our clients do not have to make any payments. This is because DAD GmbH has also previously been identified across Europe with its trick form „European Business Number“ which misled victims. They are now attempting to use the ERC and general uncertainty surrounding the topic of data protection to trap further businesses in a costly trap. We have compiled a comprehensive report on this company that can be found under the following link:
What should I do if I get invoices from ERC or DAD GmbH?
As soon as the signed form is sent back, the affected party will get an invoice with the total due for the first year of the agreement. We advise our clients not to pay invoices from the European Register of Commerce or DAD GmbH without checking. In recent years, we have been able to release countless clients from many countries around Europe of these obligations. Thanks to the location of our headquarters in München and our knowledge of German legal practice, we are also ideally placed to represent foreign clients and to ensure that demands for payment that are enforced are cancelled. You can find more information here: