Fraud targeting French entrepreneurs reaches 6 billion euros

By Valérie Aston on 23 January 2012 · Viewed 6049 times · Questions

According to an article published in Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France, more than 50,000 entrepreneurs have been victims of a scam, making them believe they were contributing to their social charges. The scam could amount to at least 6 billion euros.

I have regularly warned about scams on my forum, as many auto-entrepreneurs and new entrepreneurs seem to be the target market for directories using questionable methods. Most scams come from companies playing on their identity to sell directories. Their names, such as RSI or SRI, mislead new entrepreneurs with official letters, believed to be compulsory contributions, while being promotional offers.

According to Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France, more than 50,000 victims to the scams, believing that they were contributinge towards their social charges. Malicious companies sent forms using accronyms of RSI, the body colelcting social charges, suggesting that it was a call for contributions. These companies are actually selling memberships of adverts in little known directories. The details of the offer is often mentioned in small font on the back of the letter.

The amounts claimed are fairly small, ranging from 250€ to 600€, meaning that victims are reluctant to initiate legal procedures for such small amounts. According to Grégoire Leclercq, president of the auto-entrepreneur association (FEDEA) the scam would amount to over 6 billion euros. Given the scale of the fraud, the director of RSI has confirmed that he will initiate a legal action in the hope of obtaining compensation for victims.

Reminder of existing scams aimed at new entrepreneurs

  • RSI: Répertoire des Sociétés et des Indépendants 299€
  • SRI Société de Référencement sur Internet for 249€ for one quarter
  • EURO REG - Registre TVA intracommunautaire 242€
  • France Annuaire On-Line d’Entreprises 957€

  • 297,60€

  • Registre des Societes Nouvellements Crees for 80€

  • Annuaire Telecom 118 for 260€
  • Info Registre for 97€
  • New: European City Guide 997€ per year WITH a 3 years commitment when signing

Please tweet and post this article on your facebook page to avoid more entrepreneurs being fooled by these scams.

Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.