Since registering myself as an auto-entrepreneur, I’ve received quite a few letters containing forms to complete, a couple of phone calls and one outrageous scam.

The forms were not very clear, so I took them to the job centre and talked them through with the professionals. Together, we made a best guess at what was wanted and envelopes are currently winging their way to various corners of France.

The phone calls were probably trying to sell me something. But I’ve adopted a policy of not buying anything over the phone, following a call from one of our utility companies offering something for free that ended up costing a few hundred euros and took some time (and aggressively worded emails) to resolve.

But the outrageous scam is worth showing you:

siret scam

It looks very official. I’m particularly impressed by the line asking me to return the form in less than 8 days with my payment. And the large amount of money they’re asking for. With tax.

It’s so convincing, I had to confirm it was a scam with the woman in the job centre, who admitted it was “dishonest”. In the Ts & Cs on the back, it says you can only cancel it within 8 days of signing the form. And that the money pays for your company to be registered (my guess is, on a piece of paper in a file marked “Kerching!”) for one year. After which, I guess they’ll ask for another €200. Probably adjusted for inflation.

Because I’m looking at it closely now, before it goes in the firelighter bag, I’ve just noticed the very small print on the top right that states: “Offre publicitaire non obligatoire.” I can picture the smile on the face of whoever wrote that. Offer, indeed. I wish them all the worst for the future.

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