Thursday, October 08, 2009

"French Taxes" Phishing Scam

I'm such a sucker when it comes to authority.  Especially when the authority is French and I'm not sure if I've done something wrong. I wilt with guilt, while hastily trying to figure out how to excuse/charm my way out of it.

But today, in my email inbox was a new challenge.  A notice from informing me that I was eligible for a tax rebate.

Après les derniers calculs annuels de l'exercice de votre activité, nous avons déterminé que vous êtes admissible à recevoir un remboursement d'impôt de € 178,80.

 S'il vous plaît soumettre la demande de remboursement d'impôt et nous permettre de 10 jours ouvrables pour le traitement.

Pour accéder au formulaire pour votre remboursement d'impôt, cliquez ici

Un remboursement peut être retardé pour diverses raisons. Par exemple la soumission des dossiers non valides ou inscrivez après la date limite.
I ran through my mental rolodex of taxes duly paid. Taxe d'habitation? Check.  Redevance audiovisuelle?   Check.   Taxe... well, check, check, and check.  But something didn't ring right -- ca ne clochait pas.  I had never given the Fisc my blog email address.

So I google-checked it, and sure enough, on the Fisc website there is a current  warning of a phishing scam.

Just so you know.


LA Frog said...

The French in the email is so poor: even a "fonctionnaire" would not write so poorly = dead giveaway. Advice to spammers: get proficient writers/translators. Not that I want to give any advice to those nefarious parasites...

David in Setouchi said...

Mmmm... French administration communicating with e-mail???
Yeah, maybe in the 22nd Century...

(btw: "ça ne clochait pas" doesn't really make any sense in French, maybe you meant "il y avait quelque chose qui clochait")

Anonymous said...

Crooks are crooks in any language. But as we all know, never give your bank information out on the Interent!

Glad you didn't fall for it.

Starman said...

Is nothing sacred?

Polly-Vous Francais said...

It just seemed so convincing to me; and I didn't even notice the poor writing, maybe because I was already nervous?

Oh Gator, thanks for correcting my forever-mess-ups with idiomatic French. I hope it makes me more charmante??

I've been know to do it before!! :)

Polly-Vous Francais said...


Parisbreakfasts said...

Any offers of free money larger than $.05 are suspect IMO.
If it sounds too good it probably is.
I have to wonder if I would have fallen for Madoff's scheme..?

Parisbreakfasts said...

On the other hand if "they" were requesting you hand over the €178,80 that would be believable.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

It's true, I tend to be more suspect of phishing scams in English where any amount of money is involved. But in fact last year I had gone through a rebate process with the Fisc where they reimbursed me the total amount and then re-billed me for a partial amount, blah, blah, bref a typically complex French scenario. Which is why I initially got hooked by this one.

But true, it's always by snail mail.

aimee said...

Hi Polly

My name is Aimee du Plessis and I work for Globe Media, publisher of travel sites dedicated to vacationers ( and expatriates (

I came across your blog and found it a very interesting read as well as having a 5/10 page rank.

I was wondering whether you could link to our Expat Arrivals guide for Paris which has a 4/10 page rank.

Our site contains carefully researched, impartial information written by expats, for expats. I believe your readership will find Expat Arrivals to be a helpful resource.

Would you please place a link to on your blog?

Thank you for the consideration and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at my email

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