Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
An Expat's Nightmare - Bank Fraud
Old 05-24-2019, 05:17 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 275
An Expat's Nightmare - Bank Fraud

Sad to see:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...xican-accounts

$40M missing from 158 English speaking expats.
__________________

Tekward is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-24-2019, 05:25 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 21,992
Why would someone put their life savings in a Mexican bank?

I know, fraud happens in the US too, but at least there are bank protections.

Oh, yeah. Shades of Madoff:
Quote:
Zavala, who worked for Monex about 20 years, became San Miguel’s banker of choice by winning over expats with promises of fat returns on accounts she claimed were dollar-denominated and immune to the peso’s fluctuations. She was local royalty: daughter of former Mayor Manuel Zavala and his Texas-born wife, Taylor, an agent for Christie’s International Real Estate.
Happens over and over.
__________________

__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 09:30 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Why would someone put their life savings in a Mexican bank?

The promise of oversized returns?
__________________
Eat, Drink and Be Merry.
tulak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 8,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Why would someone put their life savings in a Mexican bank?
Way back in the 1970's I had an aunt and uncle who retired early on disability pensions. They did not get much so they decided to live in Mexico most of the year, driving up to the states every 2-3 months to visit family and friends. They moved all their money to Mexico where the banks were paying outstandingly high interest rates compared to US banks. The Peso was devalued by 50% almost over night, thus wiping out half of their savings in dollars.

IIRC, their life in Mexico did not suffer much since they never planned to permanently return to the USA, and their small monthly disability checks bought more pesos. But, they did cut back visits to the states to one a year.

Other expats found themselves stuck in Mexico with the life savings slashed.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 10:15 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 226
These expats are either very naive or stupid or both. Reminds me of the program "American Greed" where there is greed on the part of the victim and the criminal. So these expats ( many educated and should have known better), were promised "fat returns on $ denominated accounts."


Now mind you this is Mexico. M-E-X-I-C-O. Where for decades now the drug cartels decapitate rivals and string the headless corpses on bridges. Mexico. Where the police at ALL levels are notoriously corrupt from the federal down to the local level.
Mexico. Where for decades if you are a gringo and stopped for a supposed traffic violation, the fine can always be paid directly to the officer who stopped you.


Yet, expats decide to put their life savings in a Mexican bank AND build houses in Mexico.



And then they wonder why this happened? Ok.
MrLoco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 10:37 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Diablo Valley (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 1,483
article stated:
Quote:
Early on, his account returned 14% with stocks such as Wal-Mart de Mexico
How could that NOT be a red flag?
gayl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 10:41 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 9,913
If I was King of the U.S., I would make it mandatory that everyone who is getting ready to retire would have to watch 20 episodes of "American Greed".
__________________
Wear Italian, Kiss French, Drink Russian, Drive German
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 11:38 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,270
There is now a podcast with the same title. Well worth a listen.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 21,992
Who did the podcast. Is it on Planet Money? Been really enjoying that.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
An Expat's Nightmare - Bank Fraud
Old 05-24-2019, 06:07 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 4,203
An Expat's Nightmare - Bank Fraud

Poorly done article IMO. I would’ve thought it should at least mention FDIC and SIPC insurance for comparison. It seems like several victims reporting having problems getting statements. Pretty big red flag right there.
__________________
...with no reasonable expectation for ER, I'm just here auditing the AP class.Retired 8/1/15.
jazz4cash is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2019, 07:18 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 692
I just contacted my solicitor in the UK- he says that the money from Nigeria has been successfully invested in the Mexican banks. Seems they have an inside track on some bundled securities that contain corporate bonds that are secured by electric vehicles that are being placed out on leases. He encouraged me to send some more money to expedite the transfer of additional funds out of Nigeria. It seems that my , ahh, distant relative there had an uncle that also had money that looks to be mine! What could possibly go wrong?
__________________
In alcohol's defense- I've made some pretty bad decisions while completely sober.
35 years @ MegaCorp Engineering, 6 years encore teaching Engineering at alma mater, retired May 2019.
Clone is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 10:05 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,711
duplicate
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 10:09 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,711
There have been numerous ponzi schemes where we live. Mostly targeted at those approaching retirement or those in retirement. Many of them have been affinity frauds. Real estate, FX transactions, you name it. A few years ago we had a church sponsored condo development go down. Many retirement plans have been ruined, not to mention the health problems related to them. My daughters inlaws figure that they have to work an extra five years because of one of these scams.

It is always the same. The victims get promised huge returns, as much as 30 percent. I am at a loss to understand how this happens. It defies common sense and I believe that it goes well beyond naivete. You can't fix stupid.

Place all of my assets in a Mexican bank No thanks. Even if I lived there I would only keep a current account with a balance to cover my living expenses.
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 10:12 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by brett View Post
It is always the same. The victims get promised huge returns, as much as 30 percent. They are told, or it is implied that their capital is guaranteed safe. I am at a loss to understand how someone would believe this.. It defies common sense. You can't fix stupid.

I think it is the intersection of people wanting to believe in some of the fairy-tales about people getting rich easily, of certain people having access to high yielding investments that the common folk don't, that we are in the special group this time, because we deserve this, and because sometimes this financial stuff is too complicated to understand.
__________________
In alcohol's defense- I've made some pretty bad decisions while completely sober.
35 years @ MegaCorp Engineering, 6 years encore teaching Engineering at alma mater, retired May 2019.
Clone is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 10:20 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
If I was King of the U.S., I would make it mandatory that everyone who is getting ready to retire would have to watch 20 episodes of "American Greed".
YES! And now I'm going to go look for that podcast. I used to watch it before I went to Netflix only. Some people don't understand that rate of return is directly proportional to risk and volatility. If you're promised crazy-high "guaranteed" returns something is wrong. Others (maybe a lot of the people investing in Madoff) were smart enough to know that but probably figured someone else was getting the short end of the stick.

I took a cruise in the Sea of Cortes 2 months ago- first time I'd ever ventured into Mexico- and loved it. The city of La Paz has a large expat community; I picked up the freebie "Gringo Gazette" and it had ads for insurance agents offering health coverage and some nice financial advisors who could help me invest my IRA money in Mexican real estate.

The FX risk alone would be enough to turn me off of any Mexican-peso denominated investments.
athena53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 10:30 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 3,603
Would one put all their money in junk bonds, probably not, so why all in Mexican Banks whose returns could be on the up and up until it goes sour.
__________________
TGIM
Dtail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 10:38 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Diablo Valley (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 1,483
Greed
gayl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 11:10 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
The Cosmic Avenger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
If I was King of the U.S., I would make it mandatory that everyone who is getting ready to retire would have to watch 20 episodes of "American Greed".
Hell, if we could just get everyone to watch the Frontline episode "The Retirement Gamble", I'd be ecstatic!
__________________
Looking to FIRE in the mid-2020s, which would be our mid-50s.
The Cosmic Avenger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 11:18 AM   #19
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 19,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cosmic Avenger View Post
Hell, if we could just get everyone to watch the Frontline episode "The Retirement Gamble", I'd be ecstatic!
If there is anyone on this board who hasn't seen it, the show is on youtube:

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2019, 12:03 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 23,741
Is this a fraud committed by a Mexican bank or a Mexican investment firm who was given the authority to move money out of the victims' accounts?

With the risks of pesos devaluation, you might lose a big chunk of your account value, but that is not different than losing money on bitcoins or Tesla shares. Losing all of it due to theft is something different.
__________________

__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
expat


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Big Bank Fraud Tekward Other topics 15 10-06-2017 04:17 PM
med ins application nightmare stargazer08 Health and Early Retirement 25 06-02-2007 11:34 PM
Nightmare Donzo Other topics 16 11-22-2006 02:20 PM
Nightmare Mortgages wabmester FIRE and Money 17 09-10-2006 02:10 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:18 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.