Monday, May 14, 2007


Most Filipinos want to help banks and the police stop crime. The Bank Examiner scheme uses your civic sense of responsibility against you and is again designed to separate your from your hard earned savings.

The man will appear to be very professional and official. He will claim to be an investigator from your bank or an undercover police investigator. He will tell you they think one of the tellers at your bank is stealing and they want your help to catch him. They may even give you a confidential phone number at the bank which you can call to verify the story. You will be asked to withdraw money from your account and let them secretly mark it or record the numbers. Then they want you to take it to a specific teller and re-deposit the money. They say there is absolutely no risk to you or your money. When you go to the teller and attempt to deposit your money, there is nothing but cut newspaper in the envelope. Of course, your never see the investigator or your money again and the secret phone number leads nowhere. Banks never use depositor funds to investigate themselves.

What you do if this cruel heartless crook attempts to make you his next victim? First, do not confront him. I have no idea what he might do if he though you could put him in jail for impersonating a police officer or bank official. If you are brave enough, your might offer to cooperate tomorrow, as your account is over it daily limit. Then when he returns have “real” police there to arrest him. Personally, I just would politely refuse. Say you are not interested in getting involved. Again, look at this person closely so that when you report his suspicious behavior to the police, you can give the police something to help them put this parasite out of business. A good idea is to note scars, tattoos or other distinguishing features that can later be used to identify him. Finally, knowledge is power, share this information with friends and neighbors who might not read my column. Be an everyday hero and help keep our community safe.

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