Fake sick leave: beware of this Snapchat scam!

Fake sick leave beware of this Snapchat scam

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    in collaboration with

    Dr Gérald Kierzek (Medical Director of Doctissimo)

    Medical validation:
    March 18, 2023

    On Snapchat, the sale of fake work stoppages is exploding. Counterfeiters, who impersonate real doctors, offer certificates at low cost. Please note that this practice is not without risk. The point with Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of Doctissimo.

    Getting a sick leave has never been easier. On Snapchat, it is now possible to have a work stoppage certificate delivered for less than 30 euros. If the younger generations are fond of the practice, the doctors themselves find themselves “victims” of the scam.

    A certificate issued in 15 minutes

    On the Snapchat platform, just type “sick leave” in the search bar to discover a multitude of accounts dedicated to these fake work stoppages.

    Counterfeiters offer a “tailor-made” service (date, establishment issuing the judgment and delivery method of your choice) and at the very least express: the certificate, signed and stamped by a real doctor, is delivered within 15 minutes for a cost ranging from 15 to 30 euros.

    On the side of the buyer, he simply has to decline his social security number, his identity, the duration of the work stoppage desired and his reason, to obtain the famous paper.

    Doctors who are victims of this fraud

    If the scam may seem innocuous at first glance, it is not: the doctors, on the front line, pay the piper.

    Their identity is not only usurped, but they must also undergo medical and administrative checks… which sometimes last several months.

    The doctor must both take steps with the police or the gendarmerie, but also inform the CPAM, which can investigate the databases of the Health Insurance, in order to detect possible fraudulent work stoppages and carry out surveys“, specifies in this respect the Social Security.

    Other damage, this time financial: the amount of damage from these work stoppages is estimated at 3.4 million euros in 2021 according to the organization.

    Medical certificates engage the responsibility of the doctor

    A real threat to public health, according to Dr. Kierzek.

    False prescriptions and false certificates or sick leaves are problematic. If the prescriptions are supposed to be secure thanks to the barcode and the watermark paper of which they are made, this is not the case for work stoppages. However, this paper engages the responsibility of the doctor. Without a medical consultation, false sports fitness certificates, for example, can also be dangerous for the patient.“, assures Dr. Kierzek. “Thanks to the Shared Medical Record and My Health Space, our data should nevertheless be increasingly secure and controlled..”