We wish to warn you about a scam where fraudsters pose as the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (UPRP).
What should you be wary of?
- bogus requests for payment sent by mail (or, less frequently, by email);
- forged “DECISIONS”, “CERTIFICATES” and “REMINDERS” signed by someone posing as the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland.
- request for paying a fee to a foreign bank account
How does this scam work?
Scammers impersonate the existing institution using UPRP’s letterhead to appear legitimate. Their messages request the recipients to make payments in EURO to a fake foreign bank account number. This way they swindle money under the guise of paying a fee to the European Patent Office or a fee for making an entry in the register and securing trademark protection.
How to check if a message is authentic?
- The Patent Office of the Republic of Poland has published an official warning on its website. In the announcement entitled “WARNING ABOUT BOGUS DECISIONS, PROTECTION CERTIFICATES, REMINDERS!” the Patent Office informs the public about its only real account number used for payments. Additionally, the warning contains the official standpoint of UPRP and a hotline number where queries/information about suspicious correspondence can be reported;
- Should you have any doubt as to the authenticity of a message and/or an account number, you are advised to contact the bank for verification or UPRP directly via the dedicated hotline;
- Below we present an example of a bogus message.
What to do if you have already transferred money to a fake account?
- Immediately notify mBank of what has happened, providing at least the beneficiary’s account number and a brief description of the incident.
- You can contact us in several ways – by calling the Contact Centre hotline (0 801 273 273/ 22 6 273 273), by contacting your Advisor or Corporate Branch or by sending an authorised message via mBank CompanyNet;
What else can you do?
- Notify law enforcement authorities and provide them (if possible) with the message/invoice/email;
- Optionally, report the incident to UPRP
Example of fake correspondence: