The personal training account (CPF) scam is becoming more and more popular

Posted Jul 28, 2022, 11:48 AMUpdated on Jul 28, 2022 at 11:53 am

“Your training rights are about to expire, use them”, “Benefit from training 100% supported by the State”… Text messages of this kind, many French people receive them daily, in addition to unwanted calls and emails about the personal training account (CPF).

Malicious canvassing, which has multiplied since the establishment of the CPF system managed by the Caisse des dépôts. Tracfin, the intelligence service of the Ministry of the Economy specializing in fraud and money laundering, estimates in its annual report the fraud linked to the CPF at some 43.2 million euros in 2021.

Last year, reports by the Caisse des dépôts or by private banks constituted a large part of Tracfin’s activities, with 116 alerts filed in 2021 after suspicions of scams. The previous year, only 10 alerts were recorded, and CPF fraud was estimated at 7.8 million euros by Tracfin. A sign that the phenomenon is growing in France.

Organized fraud

According to Tracfin, the trend is confirmed during the first six months of 2022. The organization points out that the fraud system is increasingly organized around fake companies specializing in training, which are in fact empty shells.

The CPF was created in 2015 to offer working people hours of training, ranging from the use of software, to CAP-type diplomas and driving licenses. But since 2019, the training account is no longer supplied with hours but with tariffs, the Caisse des dépôts making hundreds or even thousands of euros available to each worker to choose a service.

A goldmine for scammers. Fake companies have flourished to distribute deceptive or fake formations at inflated prices, and thus recover the funds of the scammed people. Or even to canvass workers and go as far as identity theft. Moreover, according to Tracfin, these scam networks have become more professional with the use of social networks in particular, becoming “transnational criminal organisations” outside the European Union.

If the CPF system has been a great success, the Caisse des dépôts estimates that 15,000 accounts have been victims of fraud since the start of the new CPF in 2019, for an amount of around 15 million euros.

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