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“A feeling of shame and distress”: this banking scam is wreaking havoc

© Unsplash/Mika Baumeister

It’s a banking scam whose modus operandi is starting to become well known. On April 12, Le Havre police officers arrested a 19-year-old young man who used the same approach technique with 11 victims and there could be more according to the police.

Psychological consequences for the victims

Between December 2023 and April 2024, the latter called targets, often aged 70, and he pretended to be an anti-fraud agent for their bank, reports France 3 Normandie. He explained to the victim that she had suffered fraudulent withdrawals. Fortunately, a courier from the establishment was going to come to her house and she had to give him the secret code and the card to put an end to this attack.

An accomplice of the accused then went to their home and the trap was then closed. This is clearly not the first time that such a scam has taken place in France and we are even witnessing an explosion of the latter.

However, as the commissioner interviewed by our colleagues rightly explains, the consequences can be terrible for these individuals who have been fooled. And it's not just about the money lost:

The accused tried to be reassuring, to put them at ease while creating a climate of fear and panic. He told them: ‘We have to act quickly, because otherwise, the withdrawals will continue’. This can be devastating for victims, ashamed of having been defrauded, in a climate of insecurity.

The accused was brought on Saturday April 13, 2024 before the Le Havre public prosecutor's office to be tried there in immediate appearance this Monday. However, he requested additional time for his defense and he will therefore be judged on May 13. He is currently in pre-trial detention.

Some advice to avoid the worst

Beyond this local affair, these facts call us to be vigilant, as these scams are deployed on a large scale in France. To avoid falling into the trap, you should never consult links sent by e-mail or SMS. You can also report questionable messages on the portal cybermalveillance.gouv.fr.

Never give personal information to a person you do not know, even if they are very insistent and put pressure on you. Do not hesitate to hang up on such an individual, even if it may seem rude at the time. Finally, if the wrongdoing has been committed, contact your bank to object and file a complaint.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116