Fake passbooks, cryptocurrencies… beware of scams on financial products, more and more numerous

Cryptocurrencies represent an increasingly attractive market for individuals who would like to get into finance, but beware of scams. The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR) warned on Tuesday against the increase in scams on financial products, in particular on cryptocurrencies and fake passbooks.

The ACPR and the AMF estimate in their annual report that the average amount of damages from cryptocurrency scams has doubled since the start of the year, to 40,000 euros, compared to an average of 20,000 euros in 2021. This amount is based on the harm reported to the institutions, but “a number of people who have been cheat do not want to declare it”, recalled Dominique Laboureix, Secretary General of the ACPR.

The ACPR and the AMF are also questioning fake savings accounts with attractive remuneration, the amounts deposited in which are rapidly disappearing in favor of the crooks. Passbook scams cost their victims an average of 72,000 euros, they estimate. “The word booklet is used a little in all sauces because it gives an impression of seriousness, of guarantee”, explained Claire Castanet, director of relations with savers and their protection at the AMF.

The two regulators invite you to be wary of all offers of booklets paid at more than 4%. “Under the current circumstances, it is complicated to keep such a promise”, assured Grégoire Vuarlot, director of the control of commercial practices at the ACPR.

Overall, these two institutions added more than 1,300 websites and entities to its blacklists of fraudulent offers in 2021, bringing their total number to 3,900, they said and in the 1st quarter of 2022, 248 new registrations were added. yet been identified. For comparison in 2020, 1,200 sites or entities had already been added, compared to 500 in 2019.

This growth “testifies to a massive presence of schemes, fraudsters and illegal initiatives” which accelerated during the pandemic and “the increasingly strong action” of regulators, explained Dominique Laboureix. Scams on loans, savings books, payment services or insurance contracts represent 90% of all scams on financial products. Victims of scams on financial products do not have a typical profile, according to regulators. The latter are nevertheless concerned about those that target the less fortunate, such as vulnerable elderly people or young people.

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