“Your personal training account is about to expire”… A message soon to be illegal? The deputies examine Thursday a bill to prohibit this type of canvassing, fraudulent or not, hoping to dry up the flow of solicitations suffered by individuals. The MoDem bill, already largely validated in committee and supported by the government, intends to prohibit “any commercial prospecting of holders of a personal training account” (CPF), whether “by telephone”, by “e-mail”. or through social media. Any breach would then become liable to an administrative fine of up to “75,000 euros for a natural person” and “375,000 euros for a legal person”.
It remains to be seen whether illegality will mechanically lead to the rarity of untimely messages. Deputy Bruno Fuchs, member of the centrist group author of the text, wants to believe it. “It will not immediately dry up the flow but the fines and the risk of a procedure will be quite dissuasive”, assures the elected official of Haut-Rhin. “The person who will receive an SMS will no longer have any doubts, they will know that it is illegal and that they can report it,” he says. And “if I am an operator, I know that I will be sanctioned immediately. I will be careful before using this kind of method, ”continues the MP.
Fraud on the rise
Beyond the prohibition of canvassing, the text aims to facilitate exchanges between the Caisse des dépôts and the various State services involved in the repression of fraud. The Personal Training Account, which has existed since January 1, 2019, allows any active person to acquire training rights in euros and no longer in hours, via an online platform. It is the Caisse des dépôts (CDC) which directly remunerates the training companies, sometimes empty shells seeking to siphon off public money.
Fraud increased sharply in 2021, detailed in July Tracfin, Bercy’s financial intelligence unit. Reports of suspicion transmitted rose to 116, against only 10 in 2020. This represents suspicions of fraud of 43.2 million euros, against 7.8 million a year earlier.
The text is promised a fairly wide adoption. The deputies Les Républicains nevertheless regretted that the bill does not focus sufficiently on “the integration or the accompaniment of the active”. In addition to the ban on canvassing, the debate should put on the table the question of the quality of training, and in particular the option of requiring subcontractors of a training company to have the same quality certification as the company that has been approved by the CPF. “It’s a clear political signal,” assumes Bruno Fuchs. “There are too many abuses in some formations. »
Amendments tabled for the meeting will attempt to impose a broader ban on cold calling unless the consumer has given their express consent, or to give the decisions of the Caisse des dépôts the character of an enforceable title. Still, part of the fraud can probably not be resolved by banning canvassing. Fraud methods have evolved, explained in July the director of Tracfin Guillaume Valette-Valla.
The networks have become clearly professionalized and now include transnational criminal organisations, particularly outside the European Union, on the model of older frauds such as those on the carbon market. In 2021, more than 2 million French people registered for training and the “My CPF” application had been downloaded 3.8 million.
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Faced with the abuses of the CPF, the Assembly is ready to ban canvassing