top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Alert after fake French notaires scam bereaved

Gendarmes are warning people to be on the alert for crooks passing themselves off as notaires to scam money from the recently bereaved.

The scam, which is reported to be increasing this year, involves fraudsters studying the death notices and then contacting family members pretending to be from a firm of notaires.

Typically they will say that the person has been found to have been left money in an assurance vie policy – however they will claim that they need to send substantial amounts of funds in order to ‘unblock’ the amount they are entitled to.

Alarm bells should ring if anything of this kind happens to you; there is no need for large sums to be paid to ‘unblock’ AV payments, and genuine notaires will not request it.

In the usual scam the victims are contacted by telephone and, as well as money, they may be asked to supply various personal details. Again, a real notaires’ firm would not telephone out of the blue and make such requests.

Sometimes a real notaires’ firm’s name will be given, as part of the scam, gendarmes warn.

Regional paper Ouest France, notes a particular rise in the Pays de la Loire area, reporting that there were 15 reports of such incidents last year and 26 so far this year.

One victim reportedly handed over €7,000 while another paid as much as €20,000 in several payments after the fake notaire claimed that the money they were owned had turned out to be greater than previously estimated.

If you are contacted unexpectedly by alleged notaires, do not give any money or personal details.

If in any doubt, ask for advice from your own notaire if you have one, or check the directory at notaires.fr.

We note that this facility currently does not work if you use accents in the name you are searching for.

You could use this to see if the firm exists and if so to contact them directly using the phone number in the directory.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now