The return of inflation is enough to worry the French who have money aside. So to protect their woolen stockings, some savers often go in search of the best investment on the Internet. At the risk of losing everything: scams with fake savings books are more and more numerous, reports Le Parisien.
For the quarter of 2023 alone, the Banque de France and the ACPR (Prudential Supervisory Authority), the supervisory body for the banking sector, identified 338 new fraudulent investment sites. More than 1200 fallacious pages had already been counted last year. The data collected in 2021 from the Paris public prosecutor's office estimates the overall damage suffered by victims of financial scams at 500 million euros per year, including an average of €72,000 for each victim of fake savings accounts.
To attract customers, scammers put forward attractive offers, such as a return higher than the Livret A (3%), a net investment in taxation, or even an investment in ecological transition or cryptocurrency. The aspiring saver is also guaranteed to be able to withdraw his funds at any time.
But beyond the false promises, it is often the positioning of the sites in the search results that mislead the Internet users, advance 60 million consumers in a survey published last April. According to the monthly, "crooks offer advertising campaigns via Google Ads, choosing keywords that will trigger the display of an advertisement for their sites".
The presence of a form to fill out to “test your eligibility for the offer” or “receive a brochure” should alert, warns the monthly. Internet users who reveal their contact details are systematically contacted by a bogus investment adviser, who sometimes usurps the place of a real adviser within recognized organizations such as Revolut, Oney or Lydia. Once the fake savings account has been opened and the first sums paid in, everything can go very quickly. The transfers made are most of the time lost because “the sums pass from account to account, via abroad”, specifies Le Parisien.
To avoid any disappointment of this type, the daily invites savers to ensure that the site is not on the ACPR's blacklist. 60 million consumers also recommend not to click on financial investment sites sponsored by Google Ads. If a telephone exchange takes place, it is advisable to check the integrity of the interlocutor, in particular his registration on the site of Orias (association under the supervision of the Treasury) or Regafi (register of financial agents). In the event of damage or even doubts, the ACPR recommends filing a complaint as soon as possible and filing a report on www.internet-signalement.gouv.fr.