Or so it was claimed.
When I read it properly my scam detectors kicked off and went on red alert, the message said I had to renew my carte Vitale before 2 August, 2022 and to do so I had to visit a website.
This was what the message looked like on my mobile phone:
RenouveIIement obligatoire de votre Carte VitaIe à effectuer avant le 02/08/2022.
Rendez-vous vite sur:
The website featured whilst looking like it is from Assurance Maladie redirects to a website run by the scam artists asking for personal details and banking information.
If you receive similar delete the message straight away.
The official Assurance Maladie website, https://www.ameli.fr/ has a page that highlights the different methods and techniques that scammers have used to try and trap unsuspecting users to hand over personal information.
Such scams, also known as phishing, or hameçonnage in French, have been on the rise since the outbreak of the Covid epidemic, as people have become a little more edgy about all things health.
Example scam messages
On the Assurance Maladie webpage providing details of the scams they say they will never ask for information such as log-in details or tax reference numbers.
There is also a section that features examples of the scam messages they have seen themselves and which if you have received you should delete straight away, some read:
- Compte Ameli : Après la dernière vérification de votre dossier d'assurance maladie, nous avons déterminé que vous recevrez un remboursement de 506.90 euros. Veuillez remplir votre formulaire de remboursement et confirmez-le via le lien ci-dessous : https: //bit.ly/xx
- Votre nouvelle carte vitale est disponible. Veuillez remplir le formulaire afin de continuer à être couvert via le site : https: //bit.ly/xx
- Assurance Maladie : Expiration de votre carte vitale, à mettre à jour impérativement. Ci-dessous:ameli-sms. com
- Assurance maladie : Votre carte vitale arrive à expiration, veuillez remplir le formulaire de renouvellement sous 48h via : www. vitale-assurance-login.com
Never click on any links in these types of messages, or similar ones you might receive via email, as it is possible to mask website addresses so that it looks legitimate on the screen but which forwards you to another website.
And these websites are often copycat style sites, using graphics and a similar layout to the official site, but which will ask you to log-in and provide information, that can then be swiftly used against you.
Log-in to Assurance Maladie direct
If you do need to contact Assurance Maladie then type the full address out in your web browser and then log-in to your online account to contact them directly.
And if you have handed over any bank details and only realised that it was a scam a little later, get in touch straight away with your bank and tell them what has happened.
Keep your cool with scams
As you can see from the message I received, and the other example above, the scammers are hoping to create a bit of anxiety with offers of reimbursement, deadline dates and phrases that prompt a sense of urgency.
But keep your cool, delete the message and get on with your day - now back to my book.