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

Beware new telephone scam for bank details doing rounds in France

The scam, dubbed ‘vishing,’ is already thought to have 1,500 victims. Here is how to avoid it

 A photo of an older man frustrated while on the phone

The fraudsters may sound convincing and know some personal details, but they are likely just ‘vishing’ for personal banking data Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

People in France are being warned to watch out for a new telephone scam dubbed ‘vishing’, in which criminal callers try to take control of your bank account.

‘Vishing’ is the phone version of ‘phishing’ (in which fraudsters operate by SMS or email), and comes from the words ‘voice’ and ‘phishing’ (called ‘hameçonnage’ in French).

The fraudulent callers typically start by ‘warning’ the victim of ‘suspicious activity’ in their bank accounts. The victim is pressured into falling into the criminals’ trap and sharing personal information to ‘validate’ transactions.

The callers will sometimes seek to reassure the victim that they are genuine by sharing their name, date of birth, mailing address or other personal data.

Up to 1,500 potential victims have already been identified. 

One victim, a company head, told newspaper Le Parisien that she had “become paranoid because someone got into my accounts with just one 20-minute phone call…it was like I’d been burgled”.

Jean-Jacques Latour, director of cybersecurity expertise at government online victim support service cybermalveillance.gouv.fr, said: “Each victim risks a theft of between several thousand and tens of thousands of euros.” 

Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr was founded in 2017 and has recorded 600,000 requests for help from cybercrime victims since. It provides help, assistance, and prevention techniques to help individuals and companies to avoid cyber scams.

Read also: Scam alert in France: ‘Unpaid driving fine’ SMS with fake link

How to avoid falling victim

  • Stay alert to the time. Mr Latour said that these fraud attempts tend to take place “at the weekend or Friday night so as to avoid any [real] verification from your bank”.

  • Never give personal banking data of any kind over the phone, SMS or by email. 

  • In case of any doubt, or a message about fraudulent activity, you are advised to call your bank independently, on a number that you have dialled yourself.

  • Never give out personal details without being 110% certain the request is genuine.

  • Remember that your bank will never ask you to confirm personal details or identifying data over SMS, email, or phone.

Le Parisien reports that a credit card number is currently worth €2.50-€20 on the dark web, while entire bank details are sold for €80-€120 each. Many details are also sold on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, it said.

Related articles

Scam alert in France: Watch out for online energy fraudsters

Warning over fake gendarmes call-back phone scam

New scam alert in France: Family message about ‘broken phone’

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
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
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