Watch out for 2024 Crit’Air car sticker scam in France

A fake warning claims people must renew their air pollution stickers

Crit’Air stickers are valid for the lifetime of a vehicle and do not need to be renewed
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Scammers are sending emails and text messages telling people they need to renew their vehicle’s Crit’Air (air pollution) sticker in an attempt to trick them out of money or to hand over personal information.

The new scam rides on the raft of changes that the new year brings, with scammers knowing it may seem plausible to many people that Crit’Air stickers might need updating for 2024.

However, this is not correct. Crit’Air stickers, which are needed by French and foreign-plated vehicles in several areas of France, do not need to be updated - they are valid for the lifetime of a vehicle.

What is the new Crit’Air scam?

The scam email and SMS read:

Les vignettes actuelles seront obsolètes dès le 1er janvier. Sans la nouvelle vignette, votre véhicule pourrait être interdit de circulation dans les zones à faibles émissions (ZFE) et vous risqueriez des amendes significatives…

[The current stickers will be obsolete from January 1. Without the new sticker, your vehicle could be banned from driving in low emission zones (ZFE) and you could face significant fines…]

The message goes on to present a link that resembles the official Crit’air website.

In reality, Crit’Air does not send text or email alerts of this kind to people.

Anyone who has fallen victim to a scam in France is encouraged to report it by text message to 33 700, by mail to signal-spam or on the official cybercrime website.

The only place to purchase Crit’Air stickers online is via the vignette Crit’Air website, however, they can also be ordered at a departmental prefecture or from:

Service de délivrance du certificat qualité de l’air

BP 50637

59506 Douai Cedex

Previous article: Crit’Air car sticker scams multiply in France

What are Crit’Air stickers?

Crit’Air stickers are small vignettes that must be displayed on any vehicle in low-emission zones (zone à faibles émissions or ZFE).

They show how polluting a vehicle is, with the vehicle being given a sticker with one of six levels on a sliding scale.

The scale goes from a ‘0’ (for 100% electric or hydrogen vehicles) up to a ‘5’ (for the most polluting vehicles).

They must be placed either on the bottom right-hand side of a car’s windscreen or on the fork between a motorbike’s handlebars.

The type of Crit’Air sticker your vehicle has can limit or exclude entirely the vehicle from areas with a ZFE, depending on the area you are driving through.

Read more:

A guide to Crit’Air stickers in France

Seven much-used scams to watch out for in France