Online scams have been commonplace for a while – the government said that in 2017 and 2018 internet fraud accounted for more than half of attempted scams reported in France.
Often, articles on the site alert readers to email “phishing” scams. We have also published features offering advice on how you can avoid being fooled by the, sometimes convincing, criminal cons.
And there’s another tool for anyone living and working in France who wants to ensure any financial advice they receive can be trusted.
Usefully, the government has created a list of dodgy websites offering loans, savings accounts, payment services or insurance deals that you can cross-reference if someone tries to sell you financial services that seem too good to be true.
The list – maintained, updated and published by independent administrative authority the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) and stock market regulator the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) – has recently been updated with 437 new suspect websites.
The APCR-AMF blacklist names the sites of businesses that are not authorised to offer loans, savings accounts, payment services or insurance deals.
Users can search by category, url, email, or name to see if a particular financial services business is listed.
The APCR-AMF blacklist is not exhaustive, meaning that – even if f the name of an entity or site does not appear on the lists, this does not mean that it is authorised to offer banking products or services, insurance contracts or financial products in France.
So, those in search of responsible, regulated financial advice should also search the registre des agents financiers (Regafi) website to see if anyone wanting to offer financial advice is registered. Insurance organisations must be registered on the registre des organismes d’assurance (Refassu); or the organisme chargé de tenir le registre des intermédiaires en assurance, en banque ou en financement participatif (ORIAS) website.
Meanwhile, here’s a feature explaining what you can do if you have fallen victim to a scam in France