Identity Theft: “I fainted when I was told I was registered with the Bank of France”

Identity Theft: “I fainted when I was told I was registered with the Bank of France”

A Toulouse resident was denied a mortgage because of his registration with the Banque de France. Unbeknownst to him, a fraudster had stolen his identity from an online sales site a year earlier. To do so, the fraudster didn’t even need his bank details. A story of a scam that could happen to anyone.

It only took the blink of an eye for this Toulouse man's dream to come crashing down. For several years, the journalist had been saving up to buy his dream apartment in a charming building in the La Vache district.

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“I wanted to encourage competition between banking institutions in order to have the best possible loan conditions. On July 2, I went to an agency in the city center to do a loan simulation. The consultant entered the data into the program. After a while, a few seconds, he tells me that something is wrong, like an error, and he restarts his computer and tells me that the simulation is impossible because I am registered with the Bank of France and not my ear. I lost consciousness while standing.

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This situation becomes even more dramatic for this 35-year-old man who made a significant contribution to get a very attractive credit rate and monthly payments.

A scam orchestrated through
Mobile phone sales site

It's the start of a race against time. He has already signed the sales agreement. If the report submitted to the Banque de France is not submitted before August 29, he can say goodbye to his loan. After investigating, he discovers that his personal data had been used in August 2023 to make a purchase on Certideal, a site specializing in the sale of refurbished mobile phones.

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Here's how he managed to reconstruct the events. “The amount was just over €954.90 payable in three installments via Cetelem. The transaction was made under my identity but using the bank details of a third party, which is why I saw no trace of this purchase in my account data. The scammer obviously took the phone back and never paid the balance. I am very angry with my bank for not informing me of my file. I also question the security of Cetelem transactions. How can a credit company be deceived so easily?”

Complete civil status is sufficient.

In fact, the fraudster exploited a loophole in the legal framework for online transactions. To verify the validity of a payment in several installments online, the credit company is not obliged to verify the identity of the buyer. The fraudster only needs to retrieve the person's full civil status (surname, first names, date and place of birth) to carry out his crime.

Convinced of the victim's good faith, Citelem will alert the Bank of France to file a report. The management will block any attempt to steal the person's identity using a dedicated file. “It is really important to protect your personal data, in case of suspicion, you must file a complaint immediately. If a loan has been obtained fraudulently, it is advisable to immediately inform the financial institution and send it the necessary supporting documents.” Alerts the management of the credit institution.

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