Careful when withdrawing large sums of money from banks

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Last week a young man was shot dead and the money he had just withdrawn from a bank was stolen.
Diario Libre says that contrary to popular belief, bank employees are rarely involved in these thefts.
People posing as customers are usually the ones who watch people making large withdrawals and tip their accomplices waiting outside the bank.
The article also mentions one case in which a maid tipped off an accomplice that her employer was about to withdraw a large sum.
The victim in last week's crime was a 23-year old community leader from Santo Domingo, the secretary of a well known barrio rights association, COPADEBA.

In my experience the clerks can be very indiscreet when handing over large sums to a customer.

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ndas-que-asaltan-clientes-bancarios-GY3526822
http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...oven-que-salio-de-sucursal-bancaria-NA3525492
 

dulce

Silver
Jan 1, 2002
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So sad for this young man and his family.
I was taught to be careful leaving the bank when I lived in SD. A friend would take me to the bank every month to withdraw the money I
needed to pay monthly bills. He would dress in clothes that looked like a security guard. Then he made sure I made it safely home.
Without his guidance I would not have thought it would be dangerous to go to the bank. This was many years ago and things have only gotten worse.
 

JayinRD

New member
Apr 18, 2013
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I think of this every time I have to withdraw 10,000 from a teller machine here.
 

london777

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Dec 22, 2005
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I think of this every time I have to withdraw 10,000 from a teller machine here.
One reason why I rarely use them. I use my card inside the bank at the counter. Also I can get a selection of small bills and coins that way.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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Last week a young man was shot dead and the money he had just withdrawn from a bank was stolen.
Diario Libre says that contrary to popular belief, bank employees are rarely involved in these thefts.
People posing as customers are usually the ones who watch people making large withdrawals and tip their accomplices waiting outside the bank.
The article also mentions one case in which a maid tipped off an accomplice that her employer was about to withdraw a large sum.
The victim in last week's crime was a 23-year old community leader from Santo Domingo, the secretary of a well known barrio rights association, COPADEBA.

In my experience the clerks can be very indiscreet when handing over large sums to a customer.

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ndas-que-asaltan-clientes-bancarios-GY3526822
http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...oven-que-salio-de-sucursal-bancaria-NA3525492

I don't know the victim, and for now I take the official version of events.

In general, I get extremely suspicious when I hear stories of people who allegedly withdraw relatively large amounts of money, and are robbed shortly thereafter (possibly losing their lives in the process).

First, at this stage and age it is fairly easy to avoid transactions involving (relatively) large amounts of cash, assuming they are legal. The vast majority of people and businesses who deal with large amounts of money have bank accounts.
It is a simple matter to manually withdraw money from your bank account and deposit it in the other person's bank account. If it is in a different bank, you can go to a big mall (like Sambil in SD) where most banks have branches, so that one can go from a bank to the other without leaving the mall. That is the "low tech" way to do it. Of course, there are ways to make bank to bank transactions, for no or very reasonable fees. One can also request a bank check for a modest fee. Of course there are credit cards but not everyone has one or can accept CC payments.

So, why would people find it necessary to withdraw hundreds of thousands of pesos in cash? A few MIGHT have a legitimate reason. Most, I am afraid, do not.

The story of lookouts inside the bank patiently waiting for people who make large withdrawals to notify outside accomplices is less believable than people think. Obviously such lookouts would arise suspicions from bank security and normal employees (especially if they do it regularly). The bank employees would also recognize them and report them to the police when they hear someone was robbed after leaving the bank with a large amount of money.
It is more likely that those who find out about people intending to make large amounts of money do so by other means (through people who have some connection to the victim, as the maid in the example given in the story)
 

newuser

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May 12, 2002
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One reason why I rarely use them. I use my card inside the bank at the counter. Also I can get a selection of small bills and coins that way.

Is your card a credit card, atm card or debit card? I tried to do this at a Scotia Bank once with an atm card and they said it was not possible. They told me I had to use the atm machine.
 

CristoRey

Welcome to Wonderland!
Apr 1, 2014
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Careful when withdrawing large sums of money from banks?

I can't of a single country where you don't have to be careful when
withdrawing large sums of money from a bank.
 
May 29, 2006
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A good reason why they limit ATM withdrawals to $20,000 at many banks.. I'm often astonished to see the bankrolls some everyday Dominicans handle when I'm in line at the bank, but I assume they're armed or have another person to back them up.
 

AnnaC

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Jan 2, 2002
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Is your card a credit card, atm card or debit card? I tried to do this at a Scotia Bank once with an atm card and they said it was not possible. They told me I had to use the atm machine.

I was told by TD that you cannot use your ATM card inside the bank with the teller. I've used my cc to withdraw money at the counter. This way you have a receipt right there from the teller. I try not to use ATM due to the problems I read about here and because in Dominicus you can only withdraw 2000 pesos at a time.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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I was told by TD that you cannot use your ATM card inside the bank with the teller.
It probably depends on the bank. For example, at Scotia, by every human teller there is a card reader, and they routinely ask you to swipe your Scotiacard and key in your PIN (as if it was a normal purchase at a store) even for deposits into your account!
You can withdraw money from your account through the teller that way (and sometimes you do it simply because the ATM is not working at the time).

Using the ATM's that are at a bank branch (which typically have 24/7 security personnel) as well as inside stores is usually fairly safe.

Of course, in the event of unauthorized use of your card by a stranger you normally are not blamed, unless you have acted negligently. You may have hassles, though.
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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One reason why I rarely use them. I use my card inside the bank at the counter. Also I can get a selection of small bills and coins that way.

I actually think the other way around. When I withdraw at the counter, the way the clerks handle the money, and the way the bank is built (everything is open and visible), there is a good opportunity to see what?s going on. On the worst case scenario the clerk country the money in front of your so, that everyone sees what?s going on.

When I?m on an ATM (only use the ones connected to a bank), there is (usually) a security person nearby, and I can take the money quickly out of the machine without people seeing it, and nobody but me sees the screen, nor what do I want to withdraw.

I agree, there is an added security within the bank (when withdrawing over the counter), but when you get out, you have been seen by quite a number of people and you are on your own.

When I visit the ATM, I also wear clothing that doesn?t draw any kind of attention.
 

SantiagoDR

"46"
Jan 12, 2006
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One of the great reasons to keep your money in a bank in your own country and use checks here at a cambio.

The one I use has many armed guards with pistols and shotguns, both inside and outside the office.

Many of the cambios though only have guards inside.
The one I go to protects the customers inside and outside the office.
 

Uzin

Bronze
Oct 26, 2005
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Those who use your card inside the bank aren't worried about bank clerks having all your details, your signature, your card details (perhaps photocopy etc.) !?

I would loose sleep over that, these days you can shop easily with any CC online, if you have the details on front and the CVS at the back - even if your bank refunds you, the hassle of it (they also cancel the card in the event of a fraud, bigger hassle if you are abroad).

Considering ATMs now charge nearly 2% (on top of any other charge) I was tempted going in, but consider the above issue and also the security (as mentioned above) that more people see how much you are getting (and if do it regularly could become a target).
 

jruane44

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Jul 2, 2004
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A, A
I actually think the other way around. When I withdraw at the counter, the way the clerks handle the money, and the way the bank is built (everything is open and visible), there is a good opportunity to see what?s going on. On the worst case scenario the clerk country the money in front of your so, that everyone sees what?s going on.

When I?m on an ATM (only use the ones connected to a bank), there is (usually) a security person nearby, and I can take the money quickly out of the machine without people seeing it, and nobody but me sees the screen, nor what do I want to withdraw.

I agree, there is an added security within the bank (when withdrawing over the counter), but when you get out, you have been seen by quite a number of people and you are on your own.

When I visit the ATM, I also wear clothing that doesn?t draw any kind of attention.
Unless you are a woman with big boobs......I have no idea what wearing clothing that doesn't draw any kind of attention means.
 

Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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It is no different here in the DR than it is back home where a ladrone marches into a 7-11 or Mac's Milk and cleans out the register of less than $200. The mindset of petty in-your-face criminals is focused on immediate gain and a quick getaway. If you have just withdrawn 50,000 pesos and your "spidey senses" is tingling, hand the security guard 100 pesos and ask him to watch you walk to your car assuming you parked close to the bank in the first place or even have a car.

Part of a survival strategy in any third world country (and at home) is to not put yourself in a position of vulnerability in the first place and avoid being an obvious target. The other part is to have a plan if the shtf. Split up your cash. 3/4 in a money belt, inside jacket pocket or in your underwear if you feel so inclined, the other, lesser amount in an accessible pocket or purse. If, and it's a big if, you are being robbed, out comes the lesser amount, hand it over and you may come out the other end of the incident unscathed. You were able to comply quickly, you offered no resistance, the ladrone has some cash in hand and shifts their attention from robbing you to getting away. It's not likely that a ladrone is going to take the time to make you strip naked on a public street to ensure they get every last centavo.

A trick I often employ is to ask the bank clerk for 20 X 50 peso notes. Bookend those with a couple of 1000 peso notes and it looks like an impressive wad but is less than the equivalent of $100 USD.

We can minimize the likelihood of being a victim of crime, we can have a plan of response if we are, but we cannot ever completely reduce the risk to zero at home or on the streets.
 

2020

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Apr 10, 2012
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what not to wear when withdrawing large amounts of $

Unless you are a woman with big boobs......I have no idea what wearing clothing that doesn't draw any kind of attention means.

Dressed flashy and wearing an expensive watch and/or jewelry...
 

La Profe_1

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Oct 15, 2003
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When I have to cash a large check at the cambio (usually when I have a medical or dental group that I am organizing), we send the mensajero on a moto (de confianza) and have the moto driver wait for the messenger right at the door. The main office of RUSA is only a few blocks from the office, so it is a quick in and out and has worked well.

RUSA also has security at the door, so that is an additional help.
 

Virgo

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Oct 26, 2013
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When I have to cash a large check at the cambio (usually when I have a medical or dental group that I am organizing), we send the mensajero on a moto (de confianza) and have the moto driver wait for the messenger right at the door. The main office of RUSA is only a few blocks from the office, so it is a quick in and out and has worked well.

RUSA also has security at the door, so that is an additional help.
I don't know your reasons, but if I were I would find ways to avoid cashing large checks, or to move the money from the cashing point.
It would be far safer.
For example. if you need cash to pay workers who don' t have access to a bank account you could ask them to go to the bank at certain time where you woul pay them. So, you withdraw the money or cash the check and give the money to them right there.