Crit’Air: sticker scams are increasing with the arrival of tourists

France is still one of the most popular destinations for tourists. Of course, visitors must comply with French legislation, which includes the purchase of a Crit’Air sticker, essential for driving in certain large cities. For scammers, it’s a perfect opportunity to scam travelers with vignettes sold at exorbitant prices.

Credits: Pixabay

As you may knowthe Crit’Air sticker has been in place in France since July 1, 2016. This official and secure document, to be stuck on your windscreen, makes it possible to classify vehicles according to their polluting emissions in fine particles and nitrogen oxides.

The Crit’Air sticker is compulsory for driving in low-emission zones mobility (ZFE-m) introduced by local authorities or for driving in “alternate traffic” zones during pollution peaks (a decision that is up to the prefect). In total, the vehicles are stored in 6 different categoriesranging from zero for electric cars to 5 for diesel and biodiesel cars, light commercial vehicles and trucks/buses/coaches launched between 1 January 1997 and 30 September 2006.

critair sticker scam
Official portal of the Crit’Air sticker

Crit’Air vignette: an obligation for all drivers

Today, more than 500 cities in France prohibit access to vehicles whose Crit’Air sticker is not category 2 or less. And note that since January 1, 2020, this legislation also applies to used vehicles and rentals. Of course, tourists who go to France during the summer period must also obtain this famous vignette.

On the official French government website, registering and sending the Crit’Air sticker costs €3.11 = €1.40 postage, i.e. €4.51 per vehicle registered abroad. Only, and as ESET computer security researchers explain, many fraudulent sites reproduce the interface of the official portal with the aim of scamming travelers who are looking to buy the sticker.

critair sticker scam
Official portal of the Crit’Air sticker

Beware of Crit’Air sticker scams on the internet

You should know that the official site, available in French, English and German, requires a large amount of information such as the registration of the vehicle, the type of fuel and vehicle or the EURO standard, to name a few. ‘them. The crooks are surfing on the linguistic confusion and the complexity of the operation to offer fraudulent sites that display a simplified and shorter procedure… And a sticker price that defies understanding.

Indeed, it is not uncommon for the bill to reach 60 € on some sites. A shame when you know that the sticker costs less than 5 € on the official site of the French government. And of course, the victims who paid never received any document, in addition of having transmitted certain personal data to the scammers (which will probably be resold on the dark web).

Others have received false vignettes, which are absolutely not valid during a police check. As a result, they can be sanctioned witha fine of up to €450 (usually a fixed fine of €68).

As the official portal of the Crit’Air sticker reminds you, you will be sure to be on the official site if the ministry logo is displayed and if the site address is as follows: If not, you are on a fraudulent site.

Source : ESET

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