Identifying a real Mahnung from the Landesamt für Einwanderung?

23 posts in this topic

I got a Mahnung from the Landesamt für Einwanderung... I think.  It's not clear how to confirm that the Mahnung is real, so I was wondering if there's anything I should be looking for (also for Mahnung's in general). 

What makes it odd to me: 

I don't remember owing them any money (€59) though I did see them in June of this year.  

Stated reason for the payment? : General Administrative fees

They asked me to send them money to one of two bank accounts.  

When I tried to reverse look-up their phone number, I couldn't verify that it belonged to the city of Berlin.  I used: 

https://www.dastelefonbuch.de/R%C3%BCckw%C3%A4rts-Suche  but is there a better site to do this?  

 

I am contacting them via their website, but am wary to contact the numbers etc. included onb the mahnung because I can't verify that the phone numbers provided are real. 

I've included the text below, because why not?  

 

Quote

Die Nebenforderungen (Mahngebühr/Verzugszinsen) in Höhe von EUR 5 sind im Betrag enthalten auf Grund des Kontostandes vom November 2020.  

Zahlungsgrund: 
Allgemeine Verwaltungsgebühren 
(z.B. Abschriften, Kopien, Akteneinsicht) 
Zweckwechsel

Sehr geehrte,
nach Ablauf des Fälligkeitstages konnte ich leider keinen Zahlungseingng unter Ihrem Kassenzeichen feststellen.  Ich muss Sie daher mahnen.  Bitte ¨berweisen Sie den fälligen Betrag innerhalb einer Woche an die Landeshauptkasse Berlin auf eine der folgenden Kontoverbindungen.  
xxx
xxx
Sollte diese Mahnung unberechtigt sein, rufen Sie mich unter der oben angegebenen Telefonnummer an.  Sofern Sie verspätet gezahlt haben, überweisen Sielediglich die Mahngebühr, damit Ihnen weitere Kosten erspart bleiben.  Bei bereits geleisteter Zahlung bitte ich um einen Nachweis.  Senden Sie mir dazu eine Kopie des Zahlungsbeleges an die LHK Berlin, Klosterstr. 47, Berlin. 

Diese Mahnung wurde maschinell erstellt und ist ohne Unterschrift gültig.  

 

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2 minutes ago, shockedpenguin said:

I am contacting them via their website, but am wary to contact the numbers etc. included onb the mahnung because I can't verify that the phone numbers provided are real. 

I've included the text below, because why not? 

 

The easiest way to verify that it is real is to google the IBAN that they gave you and see if it is listed on an official page of the Verwaltung as an account for the Landeshauptkasse.

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did you copy the warning over completely? If so, it looks dodgy to me.

Also statements like "Ich muss Sie daher mahnen" (I must warn you") is not use of formal language!

 

How did you get it? By email? As far as I know, they send things only by post...

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(030) 9020-2377
(030) 9020-2159
(030) 9020-2339

 

these are the correct telephone numbers for the LHK Berlin. You could phone them and check.

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18 minutes ago, dom said:

 

Also statements like "Ich muss Sie daher mahnen" (I must warn you") is not use of formal language!

 

 

We are talking about Berlin. You wouldn't believe what I've seen in official notices. <_<

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I found "ich muss Sie mahnen" also not super proper, but I have also seen some strange formulations in official letters, especially with referring to themselves (the "author" or undersigned of the letter) in the singular rather than plural.  

 

The first thing that set off my alarm bells was that whoever wrote the letter apparently has no € key on their keyboard?  But umlauts yeah?  

 

I agree that it smells a little fishy.  Dom's idea to call them is a good one.

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3 hours ago, shockedpenguin said:

They asked me to send them money to one of two bank accounts.

What are the account numbers and who do the accounts belong to? 

If they belong to someone else the payment might be rejected.

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6 hours ago, dom said:

(030) 9020-2377
(030) 9020-2159
(030) 9020-2339

 

these are the correct telephone numbers for the LHK Berlin. You could phone them and check.

How do I find out in the future that they're correct and not just some spoof?

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6 hours ago, dom said:

did you copy the warning over completely? If so, it looks dodgy to me.

Also statements like "Ich muss Sie daher mahnen" (I must warn you") is not use of formal language!

 

How did you get it? By email? As far as I know, they send things only by post...

 

Yeah, they wrote that. 

 

It was by post, with the orange letter and everything.   

 

Seeing now that you can google the IBAN and it's the same ones, I feel a bit sheepish.  I guess I thought that it'd be easier to find the phone number than the IBAN.  

But yes, you can apparently just google the phone number.  When I was a kid, we used separate web sites for that, so I tried to and it said the phone number's owner was withheld.  

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I owe them money.  I met with them in April or May of this year and the experience (around covid, white marquee tents and zero interaction) was very different than usual.  If they had asked for money, I would have paid, but I don't think they did.  It's too bad they didn't give me a normal bill instead of this which feels like a fine, but they made the visa process so much easier than it's ever been.  

 

Anyway, since I haven't paid within the week-long date they gave me, should I just pay an extra fiver or wait until they send me another letter?  

 

 

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6 hours ago, Metall said:

I would call them and ask exactly that.

 

I agree - you had better call them. The numbers I quoted are correct. I don't see why they should have been faked.

The website is legit. 

6 hours ago, shockedpenguin said:

Anyway, since I haven't paid within the week-long date they gave me, should I just pay an extra fiver or wait until they send me another letter?

This is not the UK! Slipping them a fiver will only make things worse. You are going to have to explain why you did not pay on time. Best to tell them that you are enquiring to check whether the warning was not a fake, due to the many mistakes in the letter!

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8 hours ago, shockedpenguin said:

How do I find out in the future that they're correct and not just some spoof?

By calling the number and asking who you are speaking to and only giving out details that are already mentioned on the document.

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9 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

Wind up. OP's profile says American, but we don't say fiver.

 

 

 

Why so suspicious? If you don't think that the OPs request for help is real then just ignore it and move on to the next thread, it's not as if they are  asking for money from people on the forum.

 

And I've heard people in Germany refer to €5 as a fiver (Fünfer) - https://dict.leo.org/german-english/fiver

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48 minutes ago, warsteiner70 said:

Why so suspicious?

AlexTr has been around for a while. Yes asking for help is fine, if genuine, otherwise you waste others' time and worse still might be a troll/alt who's just generating hits. It's a big deal here at the mo

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2 hours ago, dom said:

I don't see why they should have been faked.

 

I've no doubt now that the letter is real.  I've learned that one can google the iban and phone number themselves.  In retrospect it should've been my first move, but I ended up at iban checking websites which were less helpful in ascertaining the owner of the account as they were in ascertaining that the iban number was an extant and valid iban.  

 

 

 

2 hours ago, dom said:

This is not the UK! Slipping them a fiver will only make things worse. You are going to have to explain why you did not pay on time. Best to tell them that you are enquiring to check whether the warning was not a fake, due to the many mistakes in the letter!

I'll call them.  But is it really ok to send me a mahnung without any prior invoice?   Seems odd.  

 

14 hours ago, lunaCH said:

What are the account numbers and who do the accounts belong to? 

If they belong to someone else the payment might be rejected.

Part of the reason I was sketched out was that I've found that not to be the case.  You can write anything as the recipient and the payment will go through, at least with n26 and dkb.   I have tried many things, however I have never tried obviously red-flagged names (like North Korea or something that might get me in trouble).  

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14 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

@shockedpenguin It's Wednesday.  Why haven't you called them yet?

 

Exactly!

 

And yes, ANY fake but legit sounding name can be attached to a scammer's real bank account/IBAN. The bank only sends to the IBAN and doesn't do name checks. Have had that happen to me.

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