Covid-19 : Beware of Scams

The current sanitary crisis has brought out the best in most of us… community initiatives, neighbourly behaviour, waves of kindness and support on social media.

However, there is always a minority that will try to exploit the situation, and so this article is to inform you of current government advice on protecting yourself from con artists.

The Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) is charged with keeping the playing field fair, tracking down crooks and making sure consumers are up to date with official information.

They provide the following advice:

  1. To date there are no vaccines, food products, air purifiers, lamps, dietary supplements or essential oils that protect against or cure Covid-19. Any proposal to the contrary is a misleading commercial practice.
  2. The state does not offer testing kits directly to citizens. Any offer of testing that appears to come from the state is a scam to obtain your personal data, especially your bank details.
  3. Fraudulent websites seek to sell certain medicines, especially for the treatment of other diseases. Buying them online is illegal and can expose you to serious health risks.
  4. The online sale of paracetamol has been suspended, so internet advertisements offering this drug are fraudulent.
  5. Travel attestations are free of charge and cannot be issued against payment. Some sites offer to publish a digital version: be careful, only official certificates printed or copied on plain paper are valid and you could provide sensitive personal data. Find an official travel attestation here.
  6. The decontamination of private dwellings is not currently planned by state services. People claiming mandatory decontamination are trying to fraudulently enter your home
  7. Some individuals seek to take advantage of the solidarity drive towards healthcare personnel or the search for vaccines organised by donation platforms or pools. Make sure you know the identity of the professional and the destination of your donations before making a money transfer.

If you hear of or suspect fraudulent behaviour, related to Covid-19 or otherwise, contact the DGCCRF as soon as possible.

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