top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

What to do if you fall victim to number plate fraud in France

We explain the steps to take after a recent case involving a man who received more than a dozen fines for driving infractions despite not having a car

If you receive fines for offences you do not recognise, you may be a victim of fraud Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

Number plate fraud happens when a fraudster/s use your car registration and/or driving licence details to claim you are responsible for speeding and/or other driving offences which you have actually played no part in.

It has been in the news in France after two people were given prison sentences for stealing a man’s identity to avoid paying driving fines. The victim is disabled and uses an electric wheelchair for mobility and does not have a car. 

If you start receiving fines in your name for parking or speeding infractions you know you have not committed, you may be a victim of stolen identity or number plate fraud. We explain what to do:

  • You may as a first task lodge a formal complaint with the police or gendarmerie and keep a copy of this complaint

  • Report the fraud on the Police Nationale website, Info Escroqueries.
    Their telephone line: 08 05 80 58 17 is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00.

  • You can also report any illegal behaviour to the PHAROS platform.

The France Victimes association can help you to make a complaint and to follow up the process. You can call them on 116 006 for free and their help is also free of charge.

Identity theft is punishable by up to a year in jail and up to €15,000 in fines. Fraud can be punished by up to five years in jail and €375,000 in fines.

Disabled man fined for driving offences…despite not having a car

The advice comes after a disabled man living in Lavérune, near Montpellier (Hérault) reported receiving more than a dozen fines for driving contraventions in his name. This is despite him not owning a car or driving.

The man, named Thierry, who began receiving the fines in 2020, has a neurodegenerative illness. He uses an electric wheelchair to move around. He is legally permitted to drive but does not own a car. 

Yet, the fines were in his name and attributed to a car that was legally registered as belonging to him. 

After two months of worry, he was encouraged by carers to report the issue after they suspected fraud and identity theft.

Police followed the trail to two suspects, one of whom was already known to them. 

The perpetrators were a woman in her 40s, who once worked as an at-home carer for Thierry and a man who was her then-partner.

The man is accused of racking up the fines on the car concerned. When questioned, he admitted to having bought the car with Thierry’s driving licence, which he said his then-partner had given to him to use although she denied this.

The court judged the two in absentia and condemned them to 12 months of prison each with a cease and desist order. 

The man, named as Mr Bensabeur, who is from Algeria, was also issued with a OQTF (obligation de quitter le territoire français) order to leave France. The woman, Mrs Bouremel, was also banned from practising as an at-home carer for life.

The victim received €4,500 in compensation and to pay legal fees.

His lawyer, Cloé Perrot, said: “This brave and harsh judgement goes above and beyond what we asked for. Justice was done and the worry of my client was vindicated. It’s a major victory for him.”

If you have been a victim of a number plate fraud or any other identity usurpation in France please share the experience of how this was resolved with us via

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

Victim of identity theft in France receives over €10,000 in fines 


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
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France