Online card fraud mushrooms in France

Over 60 percent of all bank card fraud in France happens online, despite internet transactions making up just 8 percent of the national total.

The total amount of online fraud in 2011 reached €413 million – €32 million of which was for buying travel tickets, €21.4 million for general shopping and €2 million for online gaming.

Bank card fraud on the internet has also increased more from 2010 to 2011 than payment fraud in shops, over the telephone or by post.

The head of La Banque de France, Christian Noyer, has urged online payment systems to add an extra level of security to transactions to avoid fraud.

The study, conducted by the French board of bank card security, revealed online gaming had the lowest level of fraud because it employed the ‘3D security’ system, which sends card users a one-off code by text or email to complete the transaction.

Fraud involving ATMs has also increased by 18 percent from 2010 to 2011. In 60% of cases, the card number had been copied in the machine through a practice known as ‘skimming’, while 36 percent of the fraud is attributed to stolen or lost credit cards.

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Massive Côte du Rhône fine-wine fraud uncovered by French police

Some 66.5 million bottles of wine, the equivalent of 13 Olympic sized swimming pools full of plonk, was falsely sold as high quality Côtes-du-Rhône wine, French officials have revealed.

Massive Côte du Rhône fine-wine fraud uncovered by French police
Photo: Flickr

Almost half a million hectolitres of wine was sold off under the Côtes du Rhône AOC label – which denotes both the geographical origin of the wine and a certification of quality. 

Some of the wine, 10,000 litres in fact, was even falsely sold under the renowned Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOP label, the commercial value off which was €7000,000.

The massive fraud was revealed in a report this week by France's consumer fraud body the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCDRF).

Their inquiry into the 2017 scam unearthed a “massive misuse of the Côtes-du-Rhône label” including by a major wine producer, which has not been named.

But DGCCRF chief executive Virginie Beaumeunier told the press that the “CEO of the company” was “indicted for deception and fraud”.

Wine fraud in France has become an issue for authorities and customers alike in recent years with the problem being highlighted by the jailing in 2016 of a French wine baron.

Francois-Marie Marret was given a two-year sentence for fraud for blending poor quality wine with high-end Saint-Emilions, Lalande-de-Pomerols and Listrac-Medocs to sell to major supermarkets under prestigious labels.

The 800,000-litre (211,000-gallon) “moon wine” fraud, so called because the cheap wine was spirited to his operation by night, was uncovered thanks to the diligent work of French customs inspectors.



The hunt for fraudsters in France's wine heartlands

The country has been hit by several fraud scandals in recent years.

In 2010, 12 French winemakers and dealers were convicted of selling millions of bottles of fake Pinot Noir to the US firm E&J Gallo.

Before that, in 2006 legendary Beaujolais winemaker Georges Duboeuf was fined more than 30,000 euros for blending grapes from different vineyards to disguise the poor quality of certain prized vintages.