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Scam alert: Fraudsters pose as French police to con people out of cash

Police in southern France issue a warning about the scam, which involves prepaid cash cards

The scammers pretend to be police officers investigating Transcash fraud… but they are themselves the fraudsters Pic: hadescom / Shutterstock

A warning has been issued over a scam that sees fraudsters pose as police to con victims out of hundreds of euros.

The scam involves prepaid Transcash cards, which can have money added to them for spending online or in shops.

Fraudsters telephone their victims and pretend they are investigating fraud involving the cards.

Gendarmerie in the southern department of Gard, who issued a warning, say once the tricksters have built up trust with their victims, they ask for help to prevent the fraud. 

This involves asking the victim to visit a tabac shop and buy one of the prepaid cards, which can cost between €250-300.

The scammers then get the card’s code from their victim and gain access to the cash. 

However, the victim - believing they are helping with an investigation - may only realise their mistake much later.

The Gendarmerie in Gard said officers would “never ask you to make any kind of financial transaction”.

“Be alert,” it advised. “By calling 17, your call will be immediately answered by a gendarmerie officer at the [Gard operations centre] le Centre d’Opérations et de Renseignement de la Gendarmerie du Gard in Nîmes.

“Do not hesitate” to report a suspected or actual scam, the post said.

What is Transcash? 

Transcash is a system that lets users send and share money, primarily with family and friends. You can buy cards and share them (or a code on them) with others, to give them access to the cash.

Money can be sent instantly online or by phone.

Transcash also includes a Visa and Mastercard prepaid debit card system, which lets users transfer money between bank accounts. It claims to be “safer than cash” and does not require users to have a bank account or pass a credit check.

Related articles

Explainer: How to get reimbursed after a bank card fraud in France

Bank fraud and other scams on rise in France: What to watch out for

Beware new telephone scam for bank details doing rounds in France 


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