About ten people have filed a complaint after being victims of an internet scam. They paid money for vehicles that were never delivered.
Complaints have been filed in recent weeks. Several people, some of whom reside in Occitania, have been victims of an internet scam. Each time, the scam plays out the same way. It all starts with the purchase of a vehicle. People resting on well-known sites like Bon coin or La Centrale. This is the case of Corinne *, a woman living on the edge of the Haute-Garonne. This last locates a vehicle on the internet during the month of August. “The price was attractive so we said to each other with my partner that it was a good deal,” she says, still very shaken by what happened to her. She then contacts the seller of this vehicle via the secure platform. Several exchanges of emails are done. “I had doubts about the price, I asked him why it was so cheap he reassured me by telling me that he was a courtier in vehicles and that was the reason why he sold cars to this price “, explains this woman. Obviously suspicious, she will still have the reflex to go and verify the identity of the seller and his company. “I found the address of the company based at Allées Jean Jaurès in Toulouse and its Siret number”, adds Corinne *. Information that will gradually dispel her concerns to the point where she will decide to take the plunge and pay the requested 10% deposit. At the end of August, 2,320 euros were thus transferred to a bank account domiciled in Italy in exchange for an order form with the expected delivery date a few weeks later. But before the deadline, the scammer will encourage them to pay the rest of the sum, namely 11,380 euros so that the delivery of the car is done as quickly as possible. “Before paying, I even called the seller, we exchanged and he had the words to reassure me”, continues, moved, the victim of the scam. But the days go by and the ordered car is still not delivered. A first email is sent by the signaller indicating a delay in delivery then silence despite multiple reminders. “We have withheld writing to him several times, in vain. After researching we discovered that we were not the only ones to have been scammed,” she slips. To his knowledge, at least six complaints describing the same process and involving the same reseller have been filed, including several in the region. “I know that I will not see my money again but I want to alert on this type of scam,” she testifies. In total, this scammer acting under this name has defrauded more than 100,000 euros from his victims and the list of victims could prove to be longer. Investigations are underway to find his trace.
An explosion of these scams
In the gendarmerie zone, at the national level, the year 2020 saw a 20% increase in incidents related to cybercrime (more than 100,000 incidents). 75% are scams. “The national damage from cybercrime is expected to be between 7 and 10 billion euros”, further specify the services of the gendarmerie. In response to this upsurge in scams, in February 2021, the gendarmerie created the Gendarmerie Command in cyberspace (Comcybergend). This unit makes it possible to manage the different actors involved. In order to combat this phenomenon, the gendarmerie provides some advice to users. At first, she recalls that “beautiful promises” often hide scams. There are many fake e-commerce sites and fake classifieds on the internet. The gendarmes also recall that “no administration or serious commercial company asks for your bank details, your usernames or your passwords by electronic message”.
As Corinne’s testimony * reveals, beware of requests for payment by “WesternUnion or bank transfer to people or sites that we do not know.” For bank transfers you can check the Iban in order to know the bank of your recipient “, recalls the gendarmerie.