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 Scam sheme of Societe Generale in Russia

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Zloi Babai
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My story is about Russian branch of Societe Generale banking group. The case of Jerome Kerviele losing billions of euro is obviously not the only fraud scheme of this banking group. And they are continuing to practice fraud schemes, at least outside the Europe in remote areas of Russia. I guess, everyone should be extremely careful dealing with any branch of this banking group because looks like fraud and swindle is an integral part of their system. Better, of course, avoid any contacts with them at all.

So here are facts. My grandmother lived in Western Siberia, I was living in Kazakhstan. She had collected quite sufficient amount of money for her funeral. The amount was sufficient for a quite luxurious funeral, because that was her dream to have such a posh funeral. The granny had a bad relations with her daughter, my mom and they were bad indeed. It’s not important why, and enough to know that if my mom got these money no single penny would be spent on funeral, but for such stuff like alcohol e.t.c. So my grandmother entrusted me her funerals and was going to write her will on me to collect money and pay. But she got deceived by employees of Rosbank, the Russian branch of Societe Generale Group, who persuaded her to transfer all her money to their bank from local Russian bank where they had been kept before. The employees of Rosbank told her that if she transfers her money to their bank, she would not need to approach to notary office to write and apostil a will, but it would be sufficient to write a power of attorney in their bank to entrust money to whoever she wants after her death. And this special procedure was allegedly only available in their bank, “because it is a branch of influential international banking group”… It looked like obvious advantage because notary apostilled will is quite expensive in Russia, while writing internal power of attorney in the bank was free. So my granny has transferred all her money to the Rosbank. By the way, she was going to move to Kazakhstan to live in same city with me. And the same swindler employee of Rosbak assured her that she can easily get her money in their branch in Kazakhstan after she moves. And that was merely a pack of lies also. They do not have any branch in Kazakhstan!
Unfortunately, shortly before her moving to Kazakhstan this terrible thing has happened, my granny died. And when I came to this remote nook of Siberia from Kazakhstan, making a trip of thousands miles, to take care of her funerals, I found out that my poor granny was deceived and power of attorney is not valid after the death of money owner. So money in fact have been lost and by no way I could get them to realize grandmother’s will. I also found that by the same scheme money of at least 2 other old people in the same village were lured out to this bank from other banks so that is a regular practice. One of them is grandmother’s friend who also was a witness of whole conversation of Rosbank’s employee with my granny and she presented there during opening a deposit.
I had no enough personal money to pay for funeral and you could imagine how unhappy and upset I was about this situation. I was ready to go to police immediately to report a numerous scam and I had witnesses. I made quite a lot of noise in that bank’s office and in my presence the manager of the office was calling to different bank’s headquarters trying to find a solution. I found out that the whole scam scheme has come from the regional bank’s headquarter in Krasnoyarsk city. It is there in a training center the employees of the bank have got the instructions on the false power of attorney scheme. That means the scheme is practiced in other offices in small towns of enormous Krasnoyarsk region of Russia. Later a lawyer told me that it is a very basic rule in Russia that power of attorney is valid only as long as asset owner is alive and it is impossible that banking officers don’t know that. And was absolutely unbelievable that the trainer of a regional headquarter was unaware of that.
So in brief, what’s the essence of the scam:
1. The bank attracts the money of old people, luring them from other banks by false “advantage” of no need to write and process an expensive will.
2. Upon death of money owner, if the one whom the money were entrusted is not s son or daughter of the owner, he will not get money and they will be kept by the bank unless the owner has son or daughter.
3. Even if the owner has son or daughter and they know about the money and claim them, without a will it is very difficult to get money and the process takes long time during which the bank keeps money and makes profit on them.

Upon my return to Kazakhstan I approached with the problem to the country Headquarter of the bank in Moscow. And that was my big mistake. I did so by the advice of the Manager of Kuragino bank office where the whole story happened. She assured me that their bank is a very solid and customer oriented and the Moscow Headquarter for sure would find a good solution. But Moscow Headquarter refused even to consider this case. I had at least 4 witnesses of the scam: the granny’s friend, another deceived person and 2 bank office clerks who heard the whole conversations as they were sitting in the same room. I had to apply directly to police and the National Bank of Russia with complaints before returning to my country. But I didn’t. I lost the time in attempt to find solution with the bank. And by the time I finally understood that I wouldn’t get any cooperation from the bank and applied to the above mentioned authorities, I found that Kuragino office of the bank had already been closed. They did it very fast. By the way, that was a very crafty form of entity, it was so called “additional office” which means that it had no legal status as an office in fact. Time have been lost. Police, after certain time upon receiving my complaint, has passed it on to the National Bank. The National bank after a couple months of ‘investigation’ advised to approach to the court. That’s it. Maybe they were bribed, maybe the bank has too influential shareholders and protectors but no proper investigation of this scam has been done. And who knows how many more old people can be potential or actual victims of this scheme. This is Russia, if you have money and influence, you’re above the law. And even Western businesses such as Societe Generale with pleasure take an advantage of such impunity in ‘third world’ countries.

As for the grandmother’s funeral, I managed to find money to bury her. It was not the funeral she wanted and for which was collecting money for many years, thanks to this remarkable bank and its clever staff trainers.

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Padme
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother and about everything that happened following her death. I do not know much (well anything) about the banking system in Kazakhstan or that bank specifically, but what you are describing isn't advance fee fraud, which is what we deal with here. Still, sorry to hear about what happened.

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Zloi Babai
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Joined: 15 Aug 2015
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Location: In the middle of nowhere...


PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, that has nothing to do with Kazakhstan banking system. It's actually branch of European bank in Russia. May be I am wrong, but to me it looks quite like advance payment scam. They attract money by deceiving people and then make it impossible or extremly difficult to collect them back by manipulations with documents. And, moreover, to me it looks like a part of strategy of the total banking group, since it is not a first case of their hoax and manipulations.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

what a sad story.
so sorry for your loss.

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