Fake bins, porn and Covid jab tax rebates: Alerts over scams in France

Police report several attempted frauds operating in France - here we explain some

23 August 2021

Other email scams have promised recipients tax reimbursements that they are not eligible for Pic: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

By Joanna York

Several attempted frauds have been operating over the summer in France - here we explain some of them

Authorities in Calvados are warning against a scam email that tells recipients they will go on police records for watching illegal porn.

The scammers’ message is made to look like it comes from the gendarmerie. 

“It says that the authorities know that you have visited pornography or paedophilic sites and that you will be added to a police database for doing so. It’s a scam,” said the gendarmerie in Calvados, Normandy.  

The email asks recipients to click on a link, but they are advised not to do so as it allow scammers to access personal data on your computer.

Instead, they should block the email address and report the message online using the police reporting tool PHAROS

Vaccine tax reimbursement scam

In a second email scam recipients are offered a reimbursement of taxes seemingly paid in order to get a Covid vaccine. 

The email appears to come from the French tax office and reads: “Following the latest annual calculations of your finances, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a reimbursement of tax for vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) of €375.39.”

Links in the message lead to a fake site where people are asked to enter their bank details.

People who have clicked on the link and entered their personal details are advised to contact their bank as soon as possible, and to report bank card fraud on the online government platform Perceval.

Earlier this year another email scam that appeared to be from the French tax office claimed recipients would get tax reimbursements of €490 if they entered their bank details online.

Emails received from the French tax office should always come from email addresses ending in @dgfip.finances.gouv.fr.

The URLs for the official government sites are impots.gouv.fr and cfspart.impots.gouv.fr

Fake bin replacement scam in south west France

In Poitiers, Vienne, the local community has highlighted a “fake bin” scam.

Scammers have knocked on doors in the area, claiming to work for the local authorities. They say that residents must change their rubbish bins or face a fine of €80.

The scammers then take €10 as payment for making the change, promising to return with the new bins later.

Of course, they are not seen again. Local authorities have said there is no project to replace bins underway.

A similar scam was flagged in Indre-et-Loire in 2019.

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