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“Phishing”, money laundering, counterfeiting… On the Internet, there are many scams! How to avoid them and not be fooled?

Theft of bank data

The theft of bank data begins with taking control of the Internet user’s virtual identity in order to recover their secure data in order to be able to access their bank accounts and carry out financial transactions. The most widespread method is that of “phishing”, or “hameçonnage” in French. The Internet user receives an e-mail, seeming to come from a trusted company, such as a bank or a well-known commerce site, which invites him to confirm his bank details. In fact, the page is fake and the scammers can then empty the user’s account or make purchases online.


Many websites offer the sale of counterfeit items. Scammers often try to sell these products on intermediation sites like eBay, or even on online sales sites that they have created especially for the occasion. The buyer does not realize the scam until he receives the product. Internet users should therefore be wary when a branded product is sold at a very low price compared to the market price. In addition, it is often asked to pay with insecure means (such as, for example, Western Union). There are also no legal notices on the site or these mention an address abroad.


The Internet has become an effective new medium for laundering money from criminal networks. The Internet user receives spam where he is offered a well-paid and not very tiring job, taking him only a few minutes a day. He is asked to speak English, to be of legal age and above all to have a bank account to carry out transactions. His “work” consists of receiving sums of money from abroad into his own bank account and forwarding them to another bank account also located abroad. A commission is paid to him in return. The Internet user then becomes an intermediary in an illegal money laundering procedure, when he thinks he is doing a legal job.


A government website has been set up to fight against fraud. The Internet user can give information to help the investigation: he can, for example, copy the url address of the site or send screenshots. If he has been the victim of a scam, he can obviously file a complaint. Fraud is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of 375,000 euros.


If the Internet user notices abnormal movements on his bank account and has been debited for purchases he has not made, he must immediately file an objection with his bank. He must also make a sworn statement indicating that he did not want these transactions. If the Internet user has not communicated his secret code, he must be reimbursed by his bank for the sums stolen. If he has given his code, there is, in general, a deductible of 150 euros. But if the bank demonstrates that a fault was committed following the negligence of the Internet user, the latter will not be reimbursed.
Société d’Avocats DAMY, Nice, Beware of scams on the Internet! 2022 Update