Fraudulent direct debit alert. Money transfer scams are not new and they regularly claim victims in France, through recklessness or thoughtlessness. We will never tell you enough that it is essential to check your bank statements or bank account and alert your advisor to the slightest strange levy. You know the theory, but do you do it in practice? Be very careful in the coming days, because several French people have been victims of a dubious bank debit in recent days.

On April 25, the Signal-Arnaques community platform posted a message on Twitter saying: “300, 400, 500 euros… Unauthorized direct debits are arriving en masse on the accounts of many witnesses”. “EUROPEAN DEBIT FROM: ENS”, specifies the title of the money transfer, which can range from 300 to 600 euros depending on the persons concerned. The site then wonders: is it a bug or a scam? As Le Parisien explains, the company called ENS would call these payments “maintenance work”.

Problem, the victims cannot cancel these SEPA direct debits, a system which covers the 28 member countries of the European Union, but also those which are members of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. As explained on the website of the Ministry of the Economy, the objective of SEPA is to make transfers between European countries “as easy and as secure as national payments”.

Who is behind these transfers? How did this company obtain the IBAN of its victims? What should we do if we are a victim in turn?

Have cybercriminals successfully hacked into their victims’ bank accounts? Le Parisien explains that it is likely that “the people hiding behind this name, ENS, have recovered the IBANs of the victims”, but specifies: “We do not yet know, however, whether it is indeed a scam, false signatures to allow this mandate, a bank verification failure or simply a computer bug”.

Since these people never authorized the payments in question, can they dispute them? Will they be reimbursed? Here’s what you should do quickly if you too notice ENS fraud.

If a SEPA transfer to ENS, or any other that you did not initiate, appears on your bank account, you must quickly cancel it. To do this, you must request a refund from your bank advisor, but you can also dispute the transfer in question directly on your bank’s website.

On Twitter, the Signal-Arnaques community platform recalls that “if you have not authorized the direct debit by signing a mandate, it is a diversion of your means of payment”. The Public Service site adds that “the bank must reimburse you the amount debited no later than the end of the first working day following receipt of your request”. You have 13 months to contest the direct debit, after which it is too late.

If you authorized the direct debit, you have 8 weeks to dispute it after the transfer of the sum. You will then be reimbursed within 10 days of your request and, if the bank refuses to return the sum, it will have to justify its choice.