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Fraud Alert

Beware: Fraud is on the increase!

Fraudsters are always inventing new methods and scams to steal from you. Here are some of the most common ones:

Calling to get your online banking details or codes

Scammers are making more and more of these calls. They can use your username and passwords to add new transfer payees and send money in your name. They can also use ‘3D Secure’ SMS codes to confirm fraudulent transactions on your cards.

Scammers often call pretending to be the police, or an adviser or fraud specialist from your bank. They may claim they need to cancel a fraudulent transaction or test your online banking connection after spotting some irregularities. They know how to make you drop your guard and may even come to your home to get the details they need.

Our advice:

HSBC France will never ask for these details by phone.

Never share your online banking details and passwords, or the ‘3D Secure’ SMS codes to confirm card transactions.

If you accidentally share this information, tell us straight away.

Phishing emails

These scams often adopt the identity of banks, public services, companies and associations. Their main goal is to steal confidential information or install computer viruses such as malware or ransom ware.

These are some of the most common reasons used to contact you:

  • Information requests
  • Security updates to consider
  • Support campaigns to help fight COVID-19

Don’t click on links or attachments in a suspicious email and never reply to messages or unsolicited calls asking for personal information or bank details. Forward any suspicious emails to

Beware of online investment scams

Investment scams are on the increase. To make them more credible, fraudsters often use the identities of respected companies to deceive even the most careful customers. These offers can include:

  • precious metals,
  • spirits alcoholic beverages,
  • livestock,
  • medical cannabis,
  • cryptocurrencies,
  • exclusive high-rate savings accounts.

Unfortunately, this list can’t be exhaustive as fraudsters add new scams all the time. To find out more, check the investment website blacklist created by AMF, the French stock market regulator.

Cheque delivery scams following contact via social networks

Fraudsters will also try to lure you through social networks such as Instagram©, Facebook© or Snapchat©. 

After contacting you on social networks and gaining your trust, they will ask you to deposit cheques into your account in exchange for financial compensation.

  • Following the handing over of the cheques, they ask you to transfer the funds by transfer to different beneficiaries,
  • Unfortunately, the cheques will come back unpaid and the money transferred to the beneficiaries will be lost.

Warning: In addition to financial loss, this type of scam can expose you to possible prosecution for fraud!

How to spot scam

The golden rule is to remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, so you should always be suspicious of an overly attractive offer. Here are some more warning signs you should watch out for:

  • The fraudster communicates only by email or telephone, and very rarely meets in person. 
  • The fraudster may request personal documents or confidential information (such as identity cards, passport, bank details and even your banking ID/password,
  • The fraudster may ask you to deposit one or more cheques and then ask you to make a money transfer.

What to do if you have suspicions

  • Consult the blacklist of fraudulent investment sites, 
  • When you are allegedly contacted on behalf of a known financial institution, check to see if the offer really exists by visiting an agency or by contacting an official telephone number (and not the one mentioned on the fraudulent offer),
  • Do not communicate any confidential documents or information by email, telephone or mail, 
  • Do not deposit cheques on behalf of strangers or provide your bank details to them
  • Never perform any money transfers at the request of strangers! 

For more information, please visit our Security page. 

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