After receiving complaints from several sources, ScamTracker has found that a French company, APS Change (formerly Auxiliaire Parisienne De Services) was fined 70,000 Euros under an anti-money laundering law. APS Change and their owner, Bruno Vanackere, operate two locations in France where travelers from the US report being ripped off when trying to exchange currency. Some reports say the company targets Americans who walk in by charging them extremely high fees while local citizens who call the business receive more reasonable rates.
This scam is small potatoes to what Vanackare was busted for previously. The French site APSFraude has the original court documents showing the company was targeted in 2012 by the powerful ACPR “Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution” under an anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism law and fined for their crimes. They tried to keep the documents sealed, but they have been leaked to APSFraude and made public. After changing the company name in 2018, they are back in the money changing business, allegedly ripping off Americans visiting Paris at two different store locations. One allegedly operated by Vanackare’s brother.
We tried to contact Vanackere, whose real full name is Bruno Dirk Jacques Vanackere, but our calls were unsuccessful. As many people who contacted us about being scammed by the company have said, the representatives pretend to not understand English when they are asked about charging exorbitant rates to American travelers. If you are traveling to Paris, it’s best to do your homework to avoid being scammed by companies such as APS Change.