Temperatures are heating up yet again this week in France, plus interest rates rise for French savings accounts and the SMS scam you need to watch out for. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Fourth Heatwave Hits France
If you’ve been struggling with the hot weather or impacted by the nationwide droughts in France this last month or so, there’s no sign of it easing up just yet. In fact, the country is bracing for its fourth heatwave or ‘canicule’ of the year this week.
Daytime temperatures are set to climb between 36-40°C in all departments south of the Loire River and are expected to stay high at night, with night-time averages of 20°C or more. Further north, temperatures will be slightly cooler, although you can still expect daytime highs of up to 34°C. The highest temperatures are predicted for Friday (Aug 12th), while thunderstorms are set to sweep the south come Sunday.
2. SMS Scam Warning
Cybersecurity company Sekoia has issued a warning to French residents about a new scam which involves text messages being sent to your phone. The messages, which read “votre colis a été envoyé” (“your parcel has been sent”), mimic the messages sent out by many legitimate delivery services and invite the recipient to click a link. After clicking the link, you will be invited to update your web browser and, in doing so, inadvertently install malware on your phone, which will then be used to collect data from your device.
The scam is estimated to have already targeted more than 70,000 Android users and is also targeting iPhone users. The advice for phone users is to ignore any such messages in the instance that you haven’t sent or are expecting to receive a parcel. If you are expecting a parcel alert or notice, then be careful that the messages come from the expected source (as opposed to, say, an unknown or international number) and be cautious that any links received are genuine (for example, a suspicious link might look more like “chronopost-fr.com” or “chrono-postfr.co” rather than the genuine “chronopost.fr”).
3. Interest Rate Increases on French Savings Accounts
If you live in France and make use of the popular Livret A or Livret d’épargne populaire (LEP) savings accounts, there’s good news! The Banque de France has announced that interest rates will go up on both tax-free savings accounts as of August 1, 2022.
The interest rate on the Livret A savings account is doubling from its current 1% to 2%, while the interest rate on the Livret d’épargne populaire savings account is more than doubling, from 2.2% to 4.6%. The interest rates are assessed every six months, and this marks the second increase in rates in 2022.
Find out more about how these savings accounts work and who is eligible here.
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