Over the years, he has become the “Mister consumption” of the PAF. Powered on TF1 with Without a doubt, Julien Courbet has been able to dig into this niche and is now at the head of three programs that dissect economic issues. With a third numberScams! this Friday on M6, he proves once again that the subject is not exhausted.
Each week, the host goes from his daily broadcast on Six and RTL to recordings of his other meetings. A busy schedule which “would not allow him to invest in programs dealing with other subjects for the moment”, he confides to 20 minutes. Especially since inflation and economic problems are far from easing the tension that households are experiencing. Interview.
You host several programs on M6 and RTL, what sets them apart?
In Scams! we are not solving the problem. We decipher the methods of scammers by detailing their way of acting to lure victims, extract money from them and then disappear. We also wonder why they are still at large and continue to make new victims. In It can happen to you, these are special cases. We propose to the public to explain their problem and we try to negotiate with the opposing party. The goal of the game is to find a resolution and to find an agreement where everyone puts water in their wine. In Capital, we decrypt the wallet. These are three different slots.
I’inflation puts consumer morale to the test. Do you feel that your role is all the more crucial at this time?
Inflation is above all synonymous with an increase in scams. For thirty years that I have been doing this job, I have noticed that the scammer comes out of the woodwork when people are in financial agony. For example the scammer of the wooden houses, which we talk about in the episode scams! to come, attacks people who have very low salaries and cannot buy a house.
How does he do it?
He approaches his victims saying, “I can help you realize your dream by offering you a house at a very low price. It is always in times of crisis that scammers are a hit. You have a hard life so when someone comes along, promises you something cheap, you want to believe it. I often exchange with people who have 900 euros per month. In 2023, it is not livable.
Despite the aid offered by the State, the people you receive in it can you do they experience so much difficulty?
On this subject, one has the impression of being on another planet. People are given a bonus of 100 euros to pay their gas bill, but the people who come to my show are scammed out of several thousand, even tens of thousands of euros. Purchasing power and bonuses they don’t care, they just want the law to be enforced. When you manage to recover a small sum of money from them, they cry with joy because it gives them new perspectives, but that does not mean that the legislation and the sanctions change if it happens again.
Do you have the impression of a form of inaction in the treatment of scams?
At some point, the executive will have to look to reinvigorate the laws that allow people to do anything with impunity. If I come to your house saying that I am a craftsman and that I ask you for a deposit for roofing work and that I no longer return after having pocketed this sum, I would not be worried. In court, the judge will tell me to reimburse this deposit but I will not reimburse it because I am insolvent. We’ll do that three or four times and then the company will file for bankruptcy and I won’t be worried, it’s still crazy.
If more measures were taken to reduce scams, you would also lose your job a little bit…
Unfortunately the scammers are so smart… But we could considerably reduce the scams if someone took care of it. In the meantime, there are also real lobbies. In construction, materials sellers don’t really want people to be forced to pass diplomas to practice because that would reduce their sales, it would make less traffic. For example, to set up a hairdressing salon, you need a hairdressing diploma. To build a house you don’t need anything. There are people surfing on it. But a cement seller would sell less cement if the profession were better supervised, so they are not in favor of better legislation.
You don’t feel like you’re participating in the ambient gloom?
I would find it unconscious to live in a society where we dust under the rug by telling ourselves that everything is fine when everything is bad. The goal of the game is to put a limit when we tell the problems of people not to fall into pathos. What I’m trying to figure out is how things happen and why governments haven’t put safeguards in place. We are a bit of an idea agitator.
The audiences for your programs are good and you have been investing in consumer topics for many years. Why do you think no other journalist invests in this niche?
It’s not an easy niche. I animated games and that was really easy. You come in, you save five games in a row, there’s nothing to prepare for. It’s not the same music at all. You have to know your subject, there are very funny moments but there are also moments of confrontation. So it’s not the sexiest thing. Afterwards, I’ve been there for thirty years… You’ll see that the day I stop, nature abhors a vacuum, someone will come and take my place.
Does this mean that you close the door to game animation?
I don’t blame myself for having tried this experience because I was coming out of twenty years of Without a doubt on TF1. It’s a program that was difficult to hold psychologically. There were very serious cases, sometimes with deaths… I needed a breath of oxygen otherwise I would have stopped everything. Now I understood that my passion is to understand the mechanisms of everyday life and especially to fight with the glass pot against the iron pot.
From Without a doubt, you are also more discreet. For what ?
Before, I was interested in my job but also in audiences, in what people think of me. Today, that side, I have completely hidden it from my life. I learned to close the door once I get out of work and to refocus on my family, my dog, my own desires. All the media circus, the people, it’s over.
Despite everything, we know your other fight for animals. Would you like to invest more in it?
I do it more and more. I am not an animal defense fundamentalist, but I am convinced that we can eat less meat, that we can kill the animal in a slightly more dignified way or that we are not obliged to go to shows that make no sense and end with the death of an animal… I was a meat-eater, I ate meat for lunch and dinner. Now I eat it every three weeks. I have never had such good blood tests, I am happy, I discovered dishes that I did not even suspect. And I participate in the preservation of the planet, in animal welfare by doing almost nothing. Our generation missed all that so now that we are old, we can make young people understand that they can change their way of life and be just as happy.