Watch out: scammers are trying to profit from heatwave in France

Fake emails about a ‘risk map’ are a phishing scam looking to steal personal information including bank account details

Do not hand your information over on sites you are unsure about
Published Last updated

Residents in France are being warned of a new scam doing the rounds, which uses the guise of weather warnings to try and ‘phish’ information out of unsuspecting victims.

With 19 departments currently on red alert for heatwaves, people are being told to keep up with advice and information concerning the weather across France.

The fraudsters are capitalising on this by flooding unsuspecting people with fake emails linking to fake weather alert websites.

On these sites users are asked to hand over personal information that can be used by scammers.

In some cases, the websites claim to be selling access to a ‘risk map’, asking people to enter their bank details onto the site.

Emails use weather alerts as smokescreen

The scam comes in the form of an email, catching users’ eyes with a subject line such as Alerte météo (weather alert) followed by a headline talking about the heatwaves, storms, or other alerts they need to be aware of.

The scammers could use any number of email addresses that mimic official sites – one email address commonly associated with this scam was ‘’ which may look legitimate at a glance, but is not associated with any reputable weather forecast site in France.

Whilst Météo France does offer an email service for weather updates using its VigiMet feature, this is paid for via a subscription – if you have not paid, you will not receive emails from them.

The emails urge those who open it to follow a link to a website, which is promoting a ‘risk map’ of live updates.

The website invites users to purchase the map, or enter some personal details to receive further updates about weather conditions where they are.

Needless to say, the map does not exist, and those who insert their bank details will not receive anything but a potentially bad surprise.

With the information you hand over, scammers may try to steal your identity online or to access your bank account.

A number of recent scams have seen fraudsters take someone’s bank details, and then later down the line pose as a worker from your bank to gain access to your personal space.

Read also

Warning to drivers over scam parking fine tickets in France

How a woman, 96, was conned out of nearly €200,000 in France

Five tips on how to avoid credit card fraud in France