business prospecting scam (Part 4). By Jocelyn Ziegler, Lawyer.

What is commercial prospecting?

Since the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, 2018, consumers have the right to object to the use or transfer of their personal data. This allows them to protect themselves in particular against the various forms of commercial prospecting on the part of the professional collecting the personal data. In practice, many consumers are approached against their will.

The DGCCRF recalls a few rules for implementing various protective measures.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European regulatory text that governs the processing of personal data throughout the territory of the European Union. It applies to any public and private organization which processes personal data on its own behalf or on behalf of third parties, provided that it is located on the territory of the European Union or that its activity directly targets European residents.

Since its entry into force on May 25, 2018, professionals collecting data are required to comply with the GDPR under penalty of sanctions. Companies take advantage of this context to canvass professionals in order to sell a compliance assistance service. These scams mainly target the liberal professions, traders, VSEs and SMEs, worried about possible financial penalties under the GDPR.

Multiple scams taking various forms.

Impersonation of public institutions (CNIL, French or European institution) or claiming to be mandated by the public authorities to offer companies pseudo compliance support.

- Contact by mail, email or telephone.

- A modus operandi, in several stages, based on psychological pressure. The scammer asks for information with insistence and exerts psychological pressure on the manager of the company so that the latter pays an invoice as quickly as possible, in return for a regularization of his situation.

- Then, these companies offer insufficient services such as a simple exchange or the sending of documentation, while compliance with the GDPR requires support from a professional qualified in the protection of personal data, to identify the actions to be taken. place and ensure their follow-up over time.

- In some cases, it can also be maneuvers to collect information about a company for another type of scam or a computer attack.

How to escape commercial prospecting?

To avoid canvassing, consumers have the possibility of registering on the list of opposition to canvassing, ” Bloctel “, set up in June 2016. This system requires companies to consult “ Bloctel ” before carrying out any commercial prospecting by telephone and prohibits them from canvassing by telephone the people who are registered there, except ” if the solicitation occurs within the framework of an ongoing contract, and relates to the subject of this contract “, specifies the DGCCRF.

How to recognize these scams?

The scam:

- Is sent by fax, post or e-mail

- Uses terms or symbols suggesting that the message is sent by a public service (tricolor flag, ” Marianne » or European logo)

- Refers to heavy financial penalties

- Encourage contact by phone or e-mail

- Check the nature of the services offered

- Take the time to reflect and analyze the offer


In the event of a scam, it is advisable to call on a specialized lawyer, who is used to this type of procedure. He will be able to put in place the best legal strategy to release the funds as quickly as possible.

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