Identity theft: “I was knocked out when they told me that I was registered with the Banque de France”

Identity theft: “I was knocked out when they told me that I was registered with the Banque de France”
Identity theft: “I was knocked out when they told me that I was registered with the Banque de France”

the essential
A man from Toulouse was refused a mortgage because of his profile at the Banque de France. Unbeknownst to him, a scammer had stolen his identity on an online sales site a year earlier. To do this, the fraudster did not even need his bank details. The story of a scam that can happen to anyone.

It only took the blink of an eye for this Toulouse resident’s dream to collapse. For several years, this journalist has been saving up to buy the apartment of his dreams in a charming building in the La Vache district.

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“I wanted to play off the competition between banks in order to obtain the best possible loan conditions. On July 2, I went to a branch in the city center to carry out a loan simulation. The advisor entered the data into the software. After a few seconds, he told me that something was wrong. Like a bug. He restarted his computer and informed me that the simulation was impossible because I was registered with the Banque de France. I couldn’t believe my ears, I was knocked out.”

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This situation is all the more dramatic for this 35-year-old man who made a significant contribution to obtain a very attractive credit rate and monthly payments.

Scam orchestrated via
a website selling laptops

It’s the start of a race against time. He has already signed the sales agreement. If the report to the Banque de France is not lifted before August 29, he can say goodbye to the granting of his loan. After investigation, he discovers that his personal data was used in August 2023 for a purchase on Certideal, a website specializing in the sale of reconditioned mobile phones.

Here’s how he was able to reconstruct the events. “It was an amount of just over €954.90 payable in three installments via Cetelem. The transaction was made under my identity but with the bank details of a third party. This is why I had not seen any trace of this purchase on my bank statements. Obviously, the scammer recovered the phone and never repaid the credit. I am very angry with my bank for not informing me of my profile. It’s the least they should have done. I also wonder about the security of transactions at Cetelem. How can a credit company let itself be fooled so easily?”, he complains indignantly.

A completed civil status is sufficient

In reality, the scammer took advantage of a loophole in the legal framework for online transactions. To validate a payment in several installments on the internet, the credit company is not required to verify the identity of the buyer. The scammer only needs to retrieve the complete civil status of a person (name, first name, date and place of birth) to perpetrate his crime.

Convinced of the victim’s good faith, Cetelem will alert the Banque de France to lift the report. The administration will block any attempt to usurp his identity using a dedicated file. “It is really crucial to protect your personal data. In case of suspicion, you must immediately file a complaint. If a loan has been taken out fraudulently, it is recommended to inform the financial institution immediately and send it the necessary supporting documents,” warns the management of the credit institution.

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