One of our good employees in the accounting department has decided to relocate back to his home province in Ilocos. That really saddens us because he’s such a good guy and competent at that. We wanted him to stay. We’re actually eyeing him for a much higher position but we couldn’t officially promote him yet because he was distracted with personal problems. Now, he has filed a resignation so he could go home, abandon his urban life in Manila, and start anew in the province.
They live in Pasig. His wife works there too. Last week, after office, his wife crossed the street from their office and withdrew P20,000 from their one and only bank account tied up to an ATM.
She walked to a nearby Puregold and bought a few supplies. Some 100 meters away from Puregold, a motorcycle with two men drove by. She didn’t look nor mind them, she just kept on walking. The motorcycle drove past her then made a U-turn. They stopped in front of her. One guy got off and poked a gun on her body.
She froze and quietly handed over her shoulder bag.
The guys sped-off.
She slumped on the pavement, unable to scream nor speak.
When she recovered from the initial shock, she walked to her employer’s office and related to her office mates that she was held up at gunpoint. They accompanied her to the barangay or police station where they viewed the CCTV. However, the exact spot where she was held-up had no CCTV.
The next morning, she remembered that their ATM PIN number was saved on her phone. When they checked their account, it’s been emptied of their life savings of P95,000. Not only that, in her bag was another P40,000 cash that was entrusted to her by her boss. The money was supposed to be used to pay for their municipal license. It was given to her late in the afternoon so that the next morning, she could go straight to the Pasig Municipal Hall to pay for their taxes. The P40,000 was gone. All in all, the thieves got away with P95,000 plus P20,000 + P40,000 = P155,000. That’s a great motivation for this riding in tandem to continue and intensify their flourishing criminal activities.
In the meantime, she stopped going to work and too afraid to even peek out the window. She is paranoid that the guys have her personal information, name, address, everything. She still could feel the gun’s barrel pressed against her body. That’s understandable. She should recover in a few weeks. Husband must not allow her to dwell on this bad experience otherwise she would become a liability and burden to him. She must learn how to be strong.
Her husband (our staff) went to his wife’s former employer. He explained to them what happened and promised to pay back the P40,000 his wife had lost to the criminals.
The ATM account is their one and only joint, individual account. That money was all they had. And its gone.
Lessons to learn here:
1. She had P40,000 cash in her bag and yet she was too confident walking around with that much cash. She withdrew another P20,000 and went around Puregold. Walking casually along a busy road with a lot of cash, she must have known the risks.
2. Do not put all your money in an ATM account. Didn’t you hear the bad news? ATM accounts hacked. How many people have been held-up after withdrawing from ATM machines?
3. Attention couples: I know it’s sweet but it’s no longer advisable to have ONE SINGLE COMMON BANK ACCOUNT. If one needs to withdraw, hahanapin pa yung isa na merong daladala ng ATM.
4. Oh men, hindi na uso lahat ng pera mo ibinibigay sa asawa mo. Pag-nawala, eh di wala lahat.
5. Maintain a lower bank balance in an account with ATM for emergency purchases only like food. Keep the rest in a more secured account, without any ATM or Debit Card attached to it.
6. Wag tamad. Do not give your ATM card and PIN number to your friends, ka-office mate, “Pre’ maki withdraw rin ako”.
7. Never save your PIN numbers in your phone. Do not write it down either in a notebook which you carry around. If you have trouble remembering PIN numbers like me, wag ka ng mag-ATM.