New member
Oct 10, 2007
I just got shafted for 16000 pesos at Progresso Bank Sosua
A friend of mine had the same thing happen at Reserva Bank.

The machine says your request is being processed but no money comes out and no reciept is offered. It asks you would you like to do another transaction?
My buddy tried 3 times and 3 times he lost the money from his account but recieved nothing.

Knowing this I stopped after the 16000 pesos ($500.00) US
When you go inside and complain they look disinterested and say you will have to call your bank to have them investigate. Your bank then sends you paper work to sign and you fax it back and it takes 3 weeks to a month to get the money back. Minust the $5.00 "service" charge which they keep.

Just another way to rip the GRINGOS off and collect interest on the money
while you spend money on long distance calls and Faxes. I am told that POPULARE is the best Bank to avoid this but I recommend that you bring lots of ID and go in the Bank to get cash.

What really makes me grumpy is that they could care less about the inconvenience they cause you. After all we are just the "fish" is Sosua.
Get used to it!!!


Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
It happens to Dominicans and also those of us that live here. If it makes you feel better, it also happens in other parts of the country. Don't worry, your not being singled out, you just got some bad luck, it happens to all of us.


New member
Aug 16, 2006

Certainly does happen to us all - I have been done twice in the last five years trying to withdraw money from bank machines - once at Banco Popular in Playa Dorada, and like you, the staff couldn't have been less interested if they had tried!! But my UK bank did refund the money within 7 days and I have made countless other transactions without a hitch. Swings and roundabouts.


New member
Apr 11, 2004
I never use cards for anything over here. There is also a lot of double billing that you may never even notice.


Mar 20, 2003
Got me in El Seybo

Not all that many tourists there, so it's just a combination of the "system" and your individual luck (or lack of it)
Still better than shoveling snow LOL



Well-known member
Feb 27, 2006
I was also victim of a card scam back in November 2006 and they systematically took the equivalent of my limit of ?300 per day until I discovered the discrepencies. My UK bank were great and replaced every penny with all forms sent and completed via email in a very short space of time - they even paid me back 10,000 pesos too much!! Coincidentally, the very same scam had happened that week at an ATM in my old home town in Devon, England so I cannot agree that it is only 'gringos' in DR that have this experience. I have continued to use my card at ATM's and am a DR resident so guess it was just an unlucky Sunday which could have happened anywhere.


New member
Feb 26, 2007

The Problem Is That The Machine Can Only Give Out So Much At A Time Depending On The Machine And The Bills It Is Dispensing 10,000rd In 2000 Intervals Is Only 5 Bills
10,000rd In 1000 Intervals Is Only 10 Bills But
10,000rd In 500 Intervals Is 20 Bills
So You Can See How This Might Be A Problem For That Cash To Fit Through That Small Opening So Dont Try To Take More Than 6 Or 7 Thousand At A Time If You Need More Do Another Transaction

Ps It Has Happened To Me Here In Dr And In The Us And Other Than Being A Pain I Have Always Gotten The Money Back Through My Bank


New member
Oct 21, 2002
Never put your card into a machine when the bank is not open - don't draw money after hours.
If anything goes wrong go into the bank and insist that they fix it at that moment.


New member
Feb 20, 2008
What's the difference in withdrawing money inside the bank (from a real person) as opposed to using a machine? Are the fees much higher?


New member
Oct 2, 2007
Same thing happened to me in 2006...from the bank machine in front of POP..(think that's Progresso one?)...

Exact same results, the ppl at the bank were very uninterested in the situation, was told to contact my bank in Canada and have it dealt with. Of course the 1-800 #'s don't work from the DR. So had to call long distance, and was stuck on hold forever of course...But they did "investigate" and refund all the money to my account fairly quickly...


New member
Feb 20, 2008
Reading about problems, such as these, makes me want to carry cash, period. However, I get a little nervous just imagining walking around with several thousand dollars on my person.

Leaving most of my money in my hotel room, condo, or apartment might help, but then I'd end up worrying about somebody breaking in and stealing it.

What to do?


hasta la tambora
Apr 4, 2005
Travelers Checks have their pros and cons.

If you go to the teller with your ATH card, you avoid any potential "Scams", both your bank and the local bank treat it as an ATH transaction as far as fees.

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RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
I bank with an online and telephone bank in England as well as Banco Popular here. The English bank have outsourced their customer services department to India. Every single time I use my UK card to withdraw cash here I get a call from someone in India checking it is me. This is because the Dominican Republic is on their high fraud list. If they cannot get through they call me the next day at 9am English time which is either 4 or 5 am here!!! The address on my account shows I live here, but when I ask them if they know where the Dominican Republic is the replies vary from near London to near Manchester!! Still they are always very nice and have often helped me with curry recipes!!!



Apr 4, 2002
If it is possible to withdraw with an ATM card, inside the bank, then that's the way to do it.
This happens all too often, in fact, it happens so often that I'm wondering if the banks from abroad are going to disable the possibility of using DR ATM's, as they are always the ones refunding the money.
They must be getting as tired of it as we are.


On Vacation!
Jun 6, 2006
Cambio Money Exchange

We never use ATM we take cash and use Cambio Money Exchange office's never any problem's


New member
Aug 11, 2002
on any bank job it is necessary to do one's homework before getting caught in a sticky situation, case the joint out first, make mental note of all exits, sit across the street, scope it out, watch someone else use the machine first............


New member
Jan 1, 2002
Oh Please, once again ???
I have lived in Sosua almost full time about 7 years now. I use that ATM at Progreso all the time, more or less as the only source for money. Sometimes when I don't get my money (that happens) The amount is being RESERVED on my account, after a few days the reservation is gone.
Once, during this 7 years, my account was debited double for a withdrawel of 40.000 pesos. I just chilled, and after a few days my account was credited for the correct amount.
My experience is that using atm's in the DR is as safe as in any other country. Problems occur from time to times, and people scream about it on DR1. The many millions of problemfree transactions is never reported.


New member
Nov 19, 2005
I was told on one of my newbie visits a couple of years ago by a very senior member of this board the biggest concern are the power cuts.
Only use your card when the bank is open - just in case.
Ive always remembered that one - thanks Eddie.
Oh by the way - over 60 weeks of holidays in the DR over the years and NEVER had a bank card problem.


New member
Mar 4, 2004
Still they are always very nice and have often helped me with curry recipes!!!
:):) Curry recipes at 4am............glad you found a use for Customer Service :cheeky:. If it happens to be Nat West I have an 'in' to CEO of the parent company (I'm now on their DFU list) so if you ever need it let me know.


New member
Dec 15, 2003
Im so glad this thread has been started Im going through an awful time with Alliance & Leicester (Girobank) in the UK. Their service has become fkdsjfhhgsh since they were bought out by a US Glom. I have had 9 thefts of 10,000 pesos the last I discovered this week and when I contacted my bank in the UK they virtually called me the thief, as in the past 12 months I have replaced my card twice as the atm didnt return it. Here is the example of the thefts, the last one was 10,000 pesos as usual, and 20 seconds later another 10,000 pesos evening time, yet I dont go out at night. How is it possible to complete another transaction within 20 seconds????????? no its not, this in itself is evidence I couldnt possibly have done it. But they wont accept it and wont refund, in total this means I have lost all the duplicated 10,000 pesos. I know I shouldnt have continued to use them but Im so busy sometimes I need money when the banks are closed. The only bank that shows their name on my bank statements is Banco St Cruz and I have never had a problem with them, the others just say ATM Cabarete and my UK bank says they dont know which bank this is, they have no info???!! disgraceful. Now I will never never ever use an ATM again. When I requested an address to write to complain about their lack of service after many many years with them the address they gave me was useless, because I checked it out on the net and found horrendous reviews of folk that had made complaints about A&L and never received a reply. Where does one turn to now? it is very upsetting as now they want to stop my card as they are convinced it is me taking the money, they will not accept that it is only possible to take 10,000 pesos out per day here, they said no thats not true. They will not supply an email address for me to send them links to some of the other threads on DR1 with the same complaint. Its an absolute nightmare. Matilda I wish you would tell me which bank you use, maybe I could pass the info onto mine and they will believe me.