Beware of the tobacco shop scam, it has already caused dozens of victims

With a well-rehearsed scenario, thugs have managed to scam many people lately.

Beware of the tobacco shop scam, it has already caused dozens of victims

With a well-rehearsed scenario, thugs have managed to scam many people lately. Their target is precise.

“No way this could happen to me, I’m not that gullible.” This sentence, everyone has already said it to themselves. No one thinks they can be fooled by a scam of any kind. And yet. Thieves continue, every day, to rob certain naive people using increasingly sophisticated scenarios.

Their target is often the same: vulnerable people, particularly seniors, i.e. those aged 65 and over (according to INSEE). More than 13 million people are therefore in the sights of these scammers who maliciously manage to gain their trust and harm them.

In recent weeks, it is the tobacco shop scam, also called the CPS coupon scam, which has claimed several victims. The story is always the same: an individual pretends to be a police commissioner, telephones a person (usually elderly), explains to them that they are investigating bank card fraud and says they need their complicity to flush out the thieves. To do this, the person must go to a tobacco shop and buy PCS coupons.

These are reloadable payment cards that are not linked to your bank account. The amount available on this card is the amount you paid to the tobacconist. The difference with a traditional bank card? Payments are untraceable!

When this PCS coupon is in your possession, the scammer asks you to give him the numbers of this card to “cancel the transaction”. In reality, the thug on the phone uses the money and harms the person who thought he was helping the police. She will never see her money again.

Through this system, scammers can recover various but sometimes very high amounts. It is possible to credit €20 to €250 on each PCS card, while purchasing as much as possible. This is how in Gironde, a retiree lost €1,000: she had bought four credit cards of €250 each, says Sud Ouest. Four other people experienced the same mishap in Vierzon, reports Le Berry republican. Ain is also affected.

To protect yourself from any scam, one rule should be kept in mind: no police officer or gendarme asks for money, whether during a meeting or over the phone. Anyone pretending to be a member of law enforcement and seeking your cooperation with your money is a fraudster. Better hang up on him. At least it won't cost you anything.

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