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Identity fraud in France: Tourists inundated with speeding tickets after renting car

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Identity fraud in France: Tourists inundated with speeding tickets after renting car
Photo: AFP
16:21 CET+01:00
A tourist who rented a car during a holiday in France with his wife last year was the victim of ID fraud and since returning home has been continuously receiving speeding and parking tickets from the French government. And he's not the only victim of the scam.

The couple, who visited France for around two weeks in October last year, have received 17 speeding and parking fines from French authorities since returning to their home in Sweden. 

All of these fines are related to private cars the couple have not used at times when they were not in the country.

During their stay in France they initially rented a vehicle from Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Paris Beauvais airport to the north of the French capital, however after the car broke down it was replaced by a different one at the Enterprise branch in the French city of Rouen in Normandy. 

Nevertheless, the couple believes the data breach occurred in Beauvais due to the fact that several fines sent to them by French authorities are for driving offences near the town.

The rentals were made under her husband's name Damir Mujkic using his driving licence which had been issued in Finland when the couple used to live there. 

Photo: AFP

The fines, issued by the government agency that doles out speeding and parking tickets ANTAI, were all addressed to random addresses in Finland, including in Helsinki. 

"The perpetrators don't have our address but use some dummy address in Finland when they enter my husband's details, so all fines go to some random addresses in Finland," the driver's wife Pia Mujkic told The Local.

However the fines do feature Mujkic's correct Finnish identity number, which appears on his licence. 

With this number the Finnish postal service has been able to redirect the fines, which started arriving about one month after the couple returned home, to their current address in Sweden. 

The couple actually received one genuine speeding ticket from ANTAI at the end of November which arrived at their home address and which they quickly settled.

However since then 17 fines have arrived adding up to around 2,000 euros, according to the couple who said that they received the most recent fine two weeks ago and say it's probable that more could come. 

"Some of them are for people doing 100km/h in a 60 km/h zone and around four or five are under the same name," said Pia. 

While the French police are looking into a couple of the fines, the pair believe the case would benefit from an investigation into all of the fines together. 

"Yesterday we received our first reply concerning two fines that have now been forwarded to a local police office in Bobigny," Pia said. "But if several officers will investigate the cases separately, they might not see the big picture."

The Local contacted Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Beauvais, who said they are looking into the case, as well as the government agency ANTAI who have yet to respond. 

A quick search on Twitter shows that the Mujkics are not the only couple to have received mysterious fines from ANTAI in France. 

In September 2018, someone going by the name of @DaleGribble13 tweeted the following to the French police: "Hello, I live in Canada and I got a French ANTAI ticket in the mail for driving with a cellphone. I have never been to France before, I suspect identity theft. Can you please help me?"

 

 

But identity fraud is common in France and drivers are regularly handed fines for driving offences they did not commit.
 
Back in 2012, Philippe Leroux appeared in court for an offense he had not committed.
 
"I am being sued for a parking offense committed in Paris in April, when I bought my car in Nantes in June," he told the press at the time. "I gave all the evidence: act of purchase, invoices, certificate of the dealer ... So why am I in court?"
 
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can follow the steps detailed on the ANTAI site in English.
 
To appeal against an offence notice or an increased fixed fine, you must formulate an Exemption Request or appeal to the Prosecutions Officer (OMP) either online or by post.
 
Depending on your situation you have between 45 days and three months to appeal. 
 

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AlsoScammed - 28 Feb 2019 18:14
I am sorry, but for legal reasons relating to my comments below, I cannot use my real name.

Regarding your article: Identity fraud in France: Tourists inundated with speeding tickets after renting car.
We are Australian and recently suffered theft of many euros by fraud when booking a vacation rental apartment in France. We notified our French bank, which promised to investigate but never did. We notified the French police by submitting an online formal complaint and then confirmed this by providing a full statement at a French police station. They also promised an investigation but suggested it would not lead to a conviction or recovery of our money. We lodged a written complaint with the (well-known) French property rental company that had advertised the property on their online bookings platform. We demanded full compensation to the amount defrauded as they had failed to keep their online booking platform secure and therefore (without knowing) allowed a criminal to pretend that he was the apartment owner. We did not threaten adverse publicity but were very firm that they had failed in their duty to protect us, their customer. After an investigation of 2 months, they denied any responsibility but paid us an amount equivalent to the amount that we had paid the scammer.

My point is this: The couple in this article must obviously try to counter each speeding fine, however at the same time, they should lodge a formal complaint with Europcar about their failure to protect their data. They should demand that Europcar compensate them for their financial losses, both those already suffered and potential future fines. This is my opinion and advice of course.
aquitaineguy - 01 Mar 2019 12:02
Boy you were very lucky to receive a refund from your rental company but I expect you know this. From my experience can be very "third world" in its judicial system. I have heard Judges say in open court "if you are not happy go back home"! I have found it biased towards foreigners even in blatant cases of crime against them.
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