How can I avoid scams?

Unfortunately scams are always around ; criminals get smarter and find new tricks continuously.
Some general rules:
  •  if someone calls you saying they are from your bank, call them! Don’t use the number they called you but check the number of your bank’s customer service and use that number. Then check if they called you. If it is really the bank who called you they will understand and be happy you are careful. This also appies if any other financial organisation calls you.
  • if you receive an email/text message or other message (e.g. WhatsApp)  from a family member or friend asking urgently to pay a bill or give them a loan, CALL this person on his/her usual number and check. You will recognise the voice of the person and can be sure it was (or wasn’t) really this person.
  •  if you receive a bill you didn’t expect (e.g. from the taxes, your energy supplier, phone company etc.) don’t pay immediately but check your administration. If this doesn’t help, CALL the organisation sending you the bill on their usual number (not the number on the bill as it could be fake) and check.
It is suggested to check every request to pay or to transfer your money to another account carefully.
Are you still a victim of scams/cybercime, report to the police and make sure no traces get lost (don’t close your computer/phone, save as much information as possible and give this to the police. Also inform your bank. Sometimes they can give you your money back.

Do you have a partner but is he/she not officially registered as partner?

If you are not married, but are living together without formal registration of your relationship this can cause problems if you pass away. In such a situation your partner doesn’t inherit anything (unless you have laid it down in a will) and your partner will not be entitled to a part of your pension (unless you informed your pension fund about your partner). Legally your partner doesn’t have any rights.
In order to avoid this, it is suggested to officially register your relationship with a notary or -if you don’t want that- ask advice. A notary can help you.

Does the Netherlands offer cancer screening?

The Netherlands has three cancer screening programs  (bevolkingsonderzoek):

  • breast cancer screening for women aged 50 to 75
  • cervical cancer screening for women aged 30 to 60
  • bowel cancer screening for men and women aged 55 to 75

These programs are free and participation is voluntary. You can find more information on



Can I open a bank account without having a Burgerservice nummer (BSN)?

Banks need your Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer, BSN) to share financial information with the tax authorities. This is compulsory by law.

If there is a delay in your registration and therefore you don’t have a BSN yet,you can still open a bank account with Bunq or ABN AMRO and provide your BSN within 90 days.

What can I do when I am dissatisfied with the medical specialist?

When you are dissatisfied with the medical specialist, it is suggested to discuss it with him/her first. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you can  file a complaint. Every hospital and clinic has a procedure for this.

If you have second thoughts about the medical solution provided by the specialist, you can ask another doctor for a second opinion. Depending on your preferences this can be a doctor in the same hospital or clinic or somewhere else. You need a new referral for this from your GP.