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Warning over cold-call French training course scams

Some 10,000 workers in France have been called by scammers offering over-priced training courses, linked to a June 30 deadline relating to the Compte Personnel de Formation scheme

11 June 2021
By Liv Rowland

A new telephone cold-calling scam connected to workers’ training rights is being reported.

The scam is linked to the Compte Personnel de Formation (CPF), a scheme which allows all workers to build up financial credits which can be used for courses to increase skills or convert to a new job.

The official body which manages this, the Caisse des Dépôts, says anyone who receives a telephone call claiming to come from the CPF should hang up.

So far, scam calls are known to have affected at least 10,000 CPF accounts out of 38 million and they have led to 26 complaints filed in court.

Some victims ended up paying excessively large sums for training courses.

Anyone who works in France pays a regular small percentage of their earnings into the CPF.

This is automatically taken out of the pay of salaried workers or paid at the same time as social charges for micro-entrepreneurs.

Information about individual’s rights can be found at moncompteformation.gouv.fr by creating a personal account on the website. Full-time salaried workers and independent workers have €500 per year added to their account, up to a limit of €5,000.

Independent workers have only been able to benefit from the scheme since 2018.

Salaried workers used to be under a scheme called DIF. Anyone with outstanding rights has until June 30 to transfer them to their CPF account. You can find out how here: tinyurl.com/3hcj35nh.

Unscrupulous companies have used the threat of the June 30 deadline to convince victims they have little time to use up their points, and that should sign up for a proposed course.

Consumer body UFC-Que Choisir followed up a scam call and was offered four hours of English lessons on a distance learning course for €2,490. The journalist was asked to hand over their social security number, which they refused to do.

The Caisse des Dépôts said the only way to sign on to a course is via the website.

Anyone losing points through fraud can get them back. Victims of CPF scam calls can ring 0970 823 551 (Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00) for help.

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