France takes action to crack down on scams at worker training courses

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The French Parliament has taken a measure to prohibit companies from directly encouraging people to register for training via the personal training account (CPF), government scheme for financing vocational training.

A draft law on this subject was unanimously approved by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, on Thursday 6 October. It still needs to be approved by the upper house, the Senate.

People working in France receive money each year on their CPF account to finance training. Full-time employees can receive €500 per year, with those working fewer hours receiving proportionally less. The maximum a person can have in their account is €5,000.

Courses can be used to deepen existing job skills or to plan a career change and it is up to the worker and not their employer, if they have one, to decide.

The CPF was introduced in 2019 to replace a previous similar system called the individual right to an education (Dif), but with the main difference that people now receive money in their accounts instead of just hours.

This has led to an increase in the number of people taking training courses, but has also increased the number of scammers trying to steal people’s accounts as well as the number of companies aggressively marketing their courses by contacting people via email. , SMS or phone calls.

The government reimburses the companies for the costs of organizing the training, which means that some are just fronts to raise public funds.

three of The Report The team have been contacted by companies lobbying them to sign up for training through the CPF – it’s not clear if this was a scam or just aggressive marketing.

Fraud linked to the CPF rose sharply in 2021, reports the government’s financial intelligence unit, Tracfin.

The number of suspicious transaction reports increased from 10 in 2020 to 116 in 2021. This represents a suspicion of fraud of 43.2 million euros, against 7.8 million euros a year earlier.

In nearly three years, five million people have been trained through the CPF at a total cost of 7 billion euros.

MP Bruno Fuchs, who tabled the bill, said it was not intended to “prohibit companies from promoting their training”.

“The objective is to go back to basics: it is the account holder who decides on his training and who makes the decision to contact an organization”, he specifies.

Carole Grandjean, Minister of Vocational Education and Training, said:

“I am very happy to support this law to clean up illegal practices that tarnish the image of the CPF.”

The bill states that rule breakers could be fined up to €75,000 for an individual or up to €375,000 for a company.

Despite the issues of fraud and aggressive marketing, the CPF is a legitimate way for people to receive funding for job training.

The best advice is to never enroll in a course through the CPF advertised to you by a company and never give out your contact information, including your social security number, to anyone who contacts you claiming to be from the CPF or any other third party. -party society.

The government advises anyone who receives a telephone call concerning CPF training courses to hang up immediately and never click on the links contained in the SMS announcing CPF training courses.

Additionally, he cautions against promotions in which freebies such as laptops or tablets — or even cash back — are offered in exchange for enrolling in a CPF course.

Scammers also use social media to target their victims.

If you are interested in vocational training via the CPF, you must register on your own initiative. on the CPF website.

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