“I fainted when they told me I was registered with the Banque de France”

A man from Toulouse was refused a mortgage because of his registration with 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 scammer did not even need his bank details. A scam story that can happen to anyone.

It took the blink of an eye for this Toulouse resident’s dream to collapse. For several years, the journalist had 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 encourage competition between banking institutions in order to have the best possible loan conditions. On July 2, I went to a branch in the city center to do a loan simulation. The advisor entered the data into the program. After a while, a few seconds, he told me that something was wrong, like an error, and he restarted his computer and told me that the simulation was impossible because I am registered with the Banque de France and not with my ear. I lost consciousness while standing up.

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This situation becomes even more dramatic for this 35-year-old man who largely contributed to obtaining a very attractive credit rate and monthly payments.

A scam orchestrated by
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 kiss his loan goodbye. 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.

Here’s how he managed to piece together the facts. “The amount was just over €954.90 payable in three instalments 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 back the phone and never paid the balance. I am very angry with my bank for not informing me of my file. I also wonder about the security of Cetelem transactions. How can a credit company be deceived so easily?”

A complete civil status is sufficient.

In reality, the scammer exploited a loophole in the legal framework for online transactions. To verify the validity of an online payment in several installments, the credit institution is not required to verify the identity of the buyer. The scammer only needs to retrieve the person’s full civil status (name, first name, date and place of birth) to carry out his crime.

Convinced of the victim’s good faith, Citelem will alert the Banque de 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 provide the necessary supporting documents,” warns the management of the credit institution.