C'est une arnaque! How to avoid EDF scams
As a foreign resident in France, you may feel like an easy target for scams, as you are less familiar with the language and the lay of the land. Fortunately, scams are fairly easy to avoid, as long as you stay alert and aware of the following advice.
EDF (Electricité de France) is the historic and largest electricity supplier in France. While rare, sometimes EDF customers can be targeted in scams and phishing schemes. Here we explain some of the common types of scams that hackers use to fool EDF customers, so that you can stay safe.
Starting Energy Service in France?EDF is not your only option for electricity supply - many alternate energy suppliers offer lower rates and similar or superior customer service. Our English-speaking advisors are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 9:30 am to 6 pm to help you start energy service in your name with an energy supplier that meets your needs: call 09 87 67 37 93, or get a free callback.
Avoiding scams targeting EDF customers: some basic tips
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you ever receive communication from EDF that appears to be suspicious
- You can always enquire about the validity of any EDF messages you have received by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling EDF customer service
- Check the address of the email: EDF emails end in the following: @edf.fr, @edf.com, @suivi-client-edf.com, @relation-client-edf.com, @newsletter-edf.com, @communication-edf.com, @bleu-ciel-edf.com or @info-edf.com
- EDF will never ask for your bank details by email
- EDF will never call you about sales without your prior consent
- Any payments made online for EDF services should always go through your personal EDF account, once you have entered your password and account number
Scams Targeting EDF Customers: what they look like
Every once in awhile, hackers target EDF customers and try to trick them into revealing personal information in order to steal their identity or money. Common tactics in the past have included:
What is phishing?Phishing happens when hackers pose as trustworthy entities (such as utility companies) in order to acquire sensitive information such as usernames/passwords or credit card details, usually by email.
You should be extremely cautious if you receive an email pretending to be from EDF that ask you for any of the following types of information:
- Your username/password to your EDF account
- Your banking information (RIB)
- Your address
- Your bank card or credit card number
How to avoid phishing scams involving EDF
- Check the message for any typos or errors in French (if you're not comfortable reading French, ask a trusted friend that is fluent to read it and give you their advice) - one of the first warning signs of a scam is if it is poorly written and contains spelling/grammatical errors
- Check the addresses of any links you might see in the email or may have clicked on (you can check the link without clicking on it by letting your cursor hover over the top of the link - you should see the address on the bottom left side of your screen):
- All EDF addresses start with "https:" (not simply "http:") and are followed by "edf.fr" or "edf.com". Similarly, the address for your EDF online space is "monagence.edf.fr" ou "monagencepart.edf.fr", and should always start by "https:" and not "http:".
- Avoid checking your EDF account online on public computers (at a library, for example)
What to do if you receive suspicious information from EDF
If you receive an email, SMS, or letter that appears to be from EDF but also seems to be suspicious, EDF recommends the following:
- Delete the email without opening it, and certainly do not respond and provide any personal details
- Do not click on any links or open any attachments, as they may lead to a virus
- Forward the email to email@example.com
- Update your computer's security system
- Avoid consulting your EDF personal account in public areas (such as in a library or internet cafe)
EDF telephone numbers
As a reminder, here are some of the important numbers for EDF. Be wary of requests to call EDF at an unfamiliar number:
- English-speaking customer service: 09 69 36 63 83
- French customer service: 09 69 32 15 15
- EDF automated telephone number: 0800 123 333
- EDF Green offers: 3004
- Find more numbers for EDF
Never provide personal information over the phone unless you are 100% certain of the legitimacy of the caller
A common warning sign for an EDF scam is if you receive a text, email, or letter asking you to call an unfamiliar number that starts with 08, which will often be a paying number that charges a high rate. Text scams may ask you to call or text a 5 digit number, which could also charge high rates to call.
Be wary of any callers claiming to be from EDF that are trying to sell EDF services (such as Partenaires Solutions Habitats) - EDF will only contact you if you have given your permission to be contacted, or if you have already requested to be contacted by Partenaires Solutions Habitats.
What to do if you have fallen victim of an EDF scam
- Contact your bank straight away to report the scam
- Change your password on your EDF online personal account
- Update your computer's security system
- Delete the fraudulent email
Fraud by telephone
- Call EDF at 09 69 32 15 15 (note: this number is charged the cost of a local call) to report fraudulent telephone calls. Try to provide as much information as you can about the call: the name of the business and the person who called, their telephone number, reason for calling, etc)
- Report fraudulent text messages by forwarding the text to the Fédération Française des Télécoms (FFT), available at 33700. You will receive a text message response asking you to specify the number from which you received the SMS.
- You can also report telephone fraud to the Service of the Interior, at 0 811 02 02 17 (note: this number costs 0.06€/minute + the cost of a local call), or online on their website.
|French Term||English Translation||French Term||English Translation|
|Messages douteux/fraudeuleux||Suspicious messages||Relevé d'Identité Bancaire (RIB)||Bank details|
|Identifiant||Username||Mot de passe||Password|
|Facture||Bill||Hameçonnage||Phishing (note "phishing" also works in French)|
Another way to avoid becoming victim to an EDF scam is to change electricity suppliers. Direct Energy, Planete Oui, Lampiris, and others offer cheaper rates and equal or better customer service, and as they are smaller than EDF, they are less likely to be targeted by hackers and scams. Find out more about your energy options by calling Selectra's English speaking customer service helpline at 09 87 67 37 93, or getting a free callback.