Savings: over 1,200 fraudulent websites identified by 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, the French have been saving a lot, which has not escaped the attention of scammers. Scams involving fake savings products have multiplied, and the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) has registered a record number of fraudulent sites on its blacklist for 2021.

Savings fraud: numerous cases of identity theft

For the full year 2021, the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution has added 1202 fraudulent sites to its blacklist. This is a record number, which can be explained by the upsurge in savings fraud. By comparison, the ACPR blacklisted 1,081 fraudulent sites in 2020, and just over 300 in 2019, before the start of the pandemic.


Crooks are adapting to the current context: since the start of the health crisis, the French have accumulated excess savings which they have sought to invest in safe products, guaranteeing them immediate availability of their funds in case of need.

In response to this need, fraudsters have mostly set up scams involving fake savings books, but also fake loans and life insurance. In 50% of cases, they impersonated genuine financial institutions or intermediaries.

To avoid falling victim to a scam, it's no longer enough to make sure that the establishment from which the offer originates actually exists. This technique was already in use in 2019, but the number of fraudulent sites using it has increased enormously.

Approach establishments rather than responding to solicitations

The ACPR's first piece of advice is not to respond to external solicitations, but to seek out offers that are likely to meet your needs. If you are approached, and the savings product seems interesting, you should first make sure that the organization in question has the necessary authorizations to offer insurance or banking products.

To this end, investors are invited to consult various registers:

If the organization in question does not appear on any of these registers, it is clearly an attempt at fraud.

However, given the numerous cases of identity theft, an organization offering a fraudulent product may well appear on one of these registers. To reduce the risks, it is advisable to consult the blacklist of credit, savings books, payment services or insurance contracts updated by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution and the Autorité des marchés financiers.

In addition, savings products with excessively high yields should prompt vigilance, even if they only offer yields of 3 to 4%. Victims of scams involving false savings books lost an average of 72,000 euros in 2021.

The ACPR has increased its human resources to identify fraud, and is focusing on prevention through information campaigns broadcast by various media.