The figures for the reports to the authorities show this: scams will continue to grow strongly in 2022. A major trend for a decade, which has accelerated even more during the pandemic crisis.
CPF or Carte Vitale scams, identity theft, cyberattacks: in recent months, calls for vigilance, on the part of banks, financial sector regulators and other institutions, have increased. A diffuse sensation is seen in: our bank accounts were never compromised.
An impression confirmed by official figures: scams are, indeed, on the rise. From August to October 2022, the Ministerial Statistical Service for Internal Security (SSMSI), which is responsible for counting and publishing crimes and offenses recorded by the police and gendarmerie, almost 119000 scams (1). A figure that has not been reached before, increased by 5% compared to the previous three months, which however does not fully reflect the reality of the phenomenon: it is estimated, in fact, that only one in 5 scams, approximately approximately, leads to a police report (2).
Another source, the living environment and security victimization survey conducted every year by INSEE and SSMSI, allows us to assess the extent of the phenomenon. According to this study, they are at least 1.3 million households in France became victims one or more fraudulent debits to their bank accounts in 2020.
Over the years, the phenomenon has affected a large part of the population. According to our exclusive survey, conducted in collaboration with YouGov France (3)almost 40% of French people have experienced a fraudulent debit, at least, in their bank account.
An ancient phenomenon that continues to accelerate
If it reaches unknown peaks, this upward phenomenon is nothing new. Over the past decade, the number of scams has, in fact, stopped growing. So it is gone, in annual total, from the 247,000 cases recorded by the police and gendarmerie in 2012 423,000 in 2021according to numbers from SSMSI.
What is more recent is the curve of this increase, which has has dropped dramatically since 2020. More precisely since the 3rd quarter of 2020, when the quarterly total exceeded 100,000 cases for the first time. A date without chance debt: it corresponds to break out of the first restraintthe strictest, following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.
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Since then, the statistic has never dropped below this limit. Worse: After a relative stabilization in 2021, scams have started to rise again since the beginning of the year. In September 2022, the number of registered scams was significantly higher than the level before the first incarceration, SSMSI said. The total for the year will be even higher than in 2021: the recorded facts already exceeded 374,000 at the end of October.
Covid changed everything
What has changed with Covid? How has the pandemic caused scams to grow? If the response is multi-factorial, one main fact dominates, in the opinion of all observers. Covid has led to an acceleration of digital payments, says Corina Fontaine, Partner payments and market infrastructure at Onepoint. Faced with the obligation to stay at home, many French, forced and forced, transferred part of their consumption to the Internet. The numbers, again, show this: the share of e-commerce in retail trade increased from 9.8% in 2019 to 13.1% in 2020 (4). This also applies to some administrative procedures. Since then, habits have taken: we have moved part of our daily lives to the digital world. According to our survey (3), 55% of French people currently make several distance payments every month. Allergies to online commerce have become rare: only 7% of sons.
But it is a boon for cheaters: more than in the physical world, they find flaws where to hurry. And they do it more easily as this transition takes place without users always having a good understanding of the risks.
Your bank account has never been more at risk
(1) Source: SSMI Interstats, Economic analysis of crimes and offenses recorded by the police and the gendarmerie at the end of October 2022. (2) Source: SSMSI Interstats, Insecurity and victimization: lessons learned from the framework survey life and safety 2021 edition, published in March 2022. (3) The survey was conducted on 1,003 people representative of the French national population aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted online, on the ownership panel of YouGov France from October 28 to 31, 2022. (4) Source: Fevad, 2021 e-commerce key figures.