INVESTIGATION – These scams can last up to several months and extend to those around the victim. Who are behind these bogus investment sites and how does the judicial police fight against this phenomenon?
In January, as France vacillated between confinements and curfews, Marie *, in her fifties, decided that the time had come to invest her savings. His daughters are gone, his plans have come to fruition … The timing seems ideal. At the bend of a website, she comes across a consulting firm offering shares of the Française des Jeux at 36 euros instead of 38. A godsend, she said to herself. The mother then leaves her contact details and is called back by an operator, who puts her in touch with two advisers. Then began the rhetoric on the dangerousness of the French banking system and the financial analysis of its accounts … The financial jargon of these experts quickly puts her at ease. She decides to invest 3000 euros. After a first return on investment, he is offered other actions. In the end, she loses more than 70,000 euros. “The savings of a lifetimeShe breathes.
Marie is not the only one who has been ripped off in this way. According to the Autorité des marchés financiers, the damage caused by investment scams between 2017 and 2019 amounted to one billion euros. The judicial police have identified around 45 million euros of damage in 2020, and the national association for the defense of consumers to 40 million euros since the beginning of 2021. Figures which are only the emerged part of the iceberg. Not all the victims file a complaint and not all of them contact consumer associations. Thousands or even tens of thousands of French people are fooled each year, often for several months. Inestimable damage, which can affect a whole family or an entire entourage, because the victim, thinking to have found the investment of the century, does not hesitate to recommend the system to his acquaintances.
Scammers with a good “professional” gossip
Asked by Le Figaro, the Central Office for the Suppression of Major Financial Crime of the Judicial Police explains that these scammers are not “ordinary individuals who are in a living room in front of a computer“. They are in reality “organized networks that commit scams large scope.” They are