**beware of money changer frauds & police in Miraflores

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**beware of money changer frauds & police in Miraflores

Postby churritis » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:56 pm

Yesterday I went to change $100 in Miraflores on Avenida Pardo which I had freshly withdrawn from the ATM and the cambista told me that it was false and then proceeded to a policeman 5 metres from him who confirmed that it was false and that by law they had to take the money.
I argued and he threatened to take me to the commisaria for fraud.

I cut my losses, dropped my head and left

This has also happened to a few other people ive spoken to recently..

please beware


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Postby cajun jamie » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:06 pm

Please report this to your embassy. This is not a good thing. Also, please follow up.

Also what block?

Thanks.
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RE:

Postby churritis » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:09 pm

On Avenida Pardo and the Ovalo in front of Saga

Im guessing its a common trick where cambistas are working with police and splitting the money
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Re: **beware of money changer frauds & police in Miraflo

Postby stuart » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:38 pm

churritis wrote:Yesterday I went to change $100 in Miraflores on Avenida Pardo which I had freshly withdrawn from the ATM and the cambista told me that it was false and then proceeded to a policeman 5 metres from him who confirmed that it was false and that by law they had to take the money.
I argued and he threatened to take me to the commisaria for fraud.

I cut my losses, dropped my head and left

This has also happened to a few other people ive spoken to recently..

please beware


If only... if only you had agreed to go to the comisaria. You would have had your $100 back in seconds, with an apology for the "mistake" made.
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Postby Omikron » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:48 pm

Things to learn about this incident:

- The "cambistas" are properly identified with a vest, granted by the district to be able to work so you could have demanded for an identification. Same goes for the policeman.
- ATM machines keep track of the serial numbers of every banknote they deliver so it is possible to make a claim back at the bank with the receipt in the very unlikely case the false banknote came out of the ATM. Unfortunately in your case, it was impossible because the policeman wouldn't return it to you.
- Never withdraw amounts that can divided by 100. Whenever I go to an ATM I never withdraw a 100 unless really needed but an 80 instead, that way I will receive 4 twenties instead of 1 single hundred banknote. Same goes for 200, go for a 180 instead .Twenties never give me problems: easier to exchange and easier to receive change.
- Write down the serial numbers (or at least the last 4 or 5 numbers) of every banknote you are about to exchange just in case they are switched.
- Always change your banknotes with the same exchanger. I've done it with the same person for the last 15 years, up to the point that I never count the received amount anymore. Not 1 single dollar or sol missing ever. Where is this trusted cambista? Av. Larco in front of the "Banco de Credito". There are like 10 cambistas in that corner, and they all know each other pretty well, so there's a small chance one of them might be "crooked" as it would ruin the reputation of the other 9. If one of them were crooked, it would imply the other 9 are too.
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RE:

Postby churritis » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:13 pm

thanks for the good advice, hopefully I wont need to use it in the hope that it will never happen again

I did withdraw in 20's.

people who ive spoke to who it also happened to, (in different areas)
said that the cambistas carry false notes around and present them saying that these were the notes you tried to change.
This covers them and it ends up being a case of word-against-word with evidence of some false notes.

next time, i'll wait until i have the soles before i give over my money.

..there are worse things that can happen
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Re: **beware of money changer frauds & police in Miraflo

Postby made in scotland » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:15 pm

churritis wrote:Yesterday I went to change $100 in Miraflores on Avenida Pardo which I had freshly withdrawn from the ATM and the cambista told me that it was false and then proceeded to a policeman 5 metres from him who confirmed that it was false and that by law they had to take the money.
I argued and he threatened to take me to the commisaria for fraud.

I cut my losses, dropped my head and left

This has also happened to a few other people ive spoken to recently..

please beware


The best way to change your dollars is to buy something in vivanda or metro....always better rate than on the street and safe too......Did you really believe that you can get a fake from a cajero ?....The notes are checked and checked again before they go in !
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Postby churritis » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:20 pm

Did you really believe that you can get a fake from a cajero ?....The notes are checked and checked again before they go in !


of course not, but what can you do?

The scam is in place and im sure its done selectively
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Postby made in scotland » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:28 pm

churritis wrote:
Did you really believe that you can get a fake from a cajero ?....The notes are checked and checked again before they go in !


of course not, but what can you do?

The scam is in place and im sure its done selectively



I know this because my fiance counts money for these machines...I keep telling her it´s ok to bring her work home...but strangely enough she declines !
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Postby churritis » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:35 pm

ROFPMPLMAO
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Postby fanning » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:38 pm

It is by the way standard procedure to first ask the rate, then if it is more than US$ 50 ask a better price. Once you agree, you get the money, check it carefully, stuff it deep in your pockets, and then get from another pocket the dollars. Hand them over one by one, let him check it in your sight, never loose sight on your dollars. Small change to get crooked..
But I always change dollars in a casa de cambio. ( Benavides with Caminos del Inca ) . In Miraflores and specially Larco, you get tourist exchange rates.
Parmentier

Postby Parmentier » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:49 pm

I know the cambistas that work just outside el cine Pacifico and never change money there as their exchange rate isn't interesting. Never had problems with them though. After all, maybe your 100 dollar was fake. However the cambistas and policeman over reacted trying to intimidate you.

There is a tourist police in Miraflores, where you could complain about the policeman and cambistas. Never change in Ovalo Miraflores as the rates are bad.
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Postby tomsax » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:22 am

Sorry about your bad experience churritis.

This can happen to any of us. This sort of scam was really common in Lima in the late 80s. I got done by "policeman" confiscating a Travellers cheque and then in the weeks afterwards two more groups tried the same con!

The thing to do is to ask for police id which they should give. Have a good look at the id and take any name and number. If you are asked to get into a vehicle make sure it is obviously a police car, the police are in uniform and double check the id.

The police officer you mentioned was either not police, or was corrupt. Were they in uniform?

I would tell the police, the tourist police and the senenazgo. I lived in Miraflores three years this decade and never came across this so perhaps this sort of scam is starting up again.
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Postby Deny » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:10 am

Parmentier wrote:I know the cambistas that work just outside el cine Pacifico and never change money there as their exchange rate isn't interesting. Never had problems with them though. After all, maybe your 100 dollar was fake. However the cambistas and policeman over reacted trying to intimidate you.

There is a tourist police in Miraflores, where you could complain about the policeman and cambistas. Never change in Ovalo Miraflores as the rates are bad.


I change dollars frequently and I've always heard that the cambistas at the Cine Pacifico are the worst, once I was scamed and they switched my 100$ notefor a false one and then once I also noticed that their caculator was rigged and it wasn't giving out the right amount, I can asure you that, not all, but some of the cambistats located at the ovalo, in front of the door of the Cine Pacifico are known to be crooked. The ones that are quite friendly and honest, to my opinion, are the ones one block away from them, in front of the Banco de la Nacion in Pardo...just a tip..
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Postby maryjo » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:39 am

1 dumb question.... rather than risk getting cheated in the street (unless of course, you know the cambista) why wouldn't you just get soles instead of dollars at the ATM or Bank? does the bank offer a less favorable exchange & fees?? and the cambista's rates are better?

Just wondering...thanks. :roll:
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Postby stuart » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:52 am

maryjo wrote:1 dumb question.... rather than risk getting cheated in the street (unless of course, you know the cambista) why wouldn't you just get soles instead of dollars at the ATM or Bank? does the bank offer a less favorable exchange & fees?? and the cambista's rates are better?

Just wondering...thanks. :roll:


Often yes.

Most people find a cambista they like and always use the same one. Its a good pattern to follow.

And always, always accept the generous offer of a corrupt uniformed officer to sort things out at the nearest police station. The aroma of crapped pants that fills the air is intense.
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Re: **beware of money changer frauds & police in Miraflo

Postby stuart » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:55 am

made in scotland wrote:Did you really believe that you can get a fake from a cajero ?....The notes are checked and checked again before they go in !


This is not true outside of Lima. Those working on the cajeros switch out the odd real S./50 for a fake one. Always check the cash at some point after withdrawing money in the provincias.
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Postby pclogic » Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:32 am

Yell "POLICIA!" - PO - LEE - CYA! about 4 or 5 times real loud, watch how their faces change. If you're lucky, you'll get the attention of a female cop, who are known for being non-corrupt and will come to help. Actually, you'll probably get your money back faster than it takes for the police officer to get there. They don't want any problems, they just want your money. When you cause a scene, I noticed, these scammers quickly back down. Sometimes you just have to firm. If you stood your ground at the time of that incident, I bet you would still have your 100 bucks.
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Postby naturegirl » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:01 pm

Call the police on it and tell him to take you to the comisaria.
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Postby Jimmy111 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:48 pm

If they thought that the bill was fake, no matter what, they are required to give you a reciept. The police on the street, cannot take anything away from you. They are just glorified security guards. They stand in the places they do because the businesses pay the police to stand there. If it happens again, just start yelling that the money changer took your money That is all it takes. They will back down right away. Only the procecuter can take the money from you. No one else.

I went to a farmacia a few years ago and the man behind the counter told me my $100 was fake. He told me that he was required to keep it. This is also a common scam. Never can anyone keep your money. Especially if it is American money. All they can do is give it back to you. If they really insist that it is bad, have them make a photo copy of it and sign it as a reciept. Then go to the police and file a complaint. They will be arested for stealing your money. The procecuter will never press charges. It is impossible to prove unless you ha a stash of counterfit bills in your pocket
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Postby rgamarra » Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:19 pm

Sorry to hear about your misfortune.

I once changed in front of the Cine in Ovalo Miraflores and the guy tried ripping me off. I went straight back to him demanded my money back and that was that!

I always exchange my money either in Metro, Wong, Vivanda or an exchange house that I haven't had problems with before.

The scammers normally won't argue with you when you confront them and they know you've figured them out.

Always take the risk of the police taking you to the Comisaria, b/c 99% of the time they are bluffing and will stop 1 block short of the Comisaria and let you go.

Once my husband was pulled over by some (corrupt) police officers and they took his I.D. and then began driving off. He chased them down and kicked the hades out of their car until they gave him back his I.D.

Another safety trick, if you have a camera or a camera-phone, record your interaction with the police, b/c they know you can easily go to the press with the evidence!

Lima is starting to grate on me with all these scams and crimes. I'm thinking a nice, quiet city like Arequipa may just be in the cards soon.
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:09 pm

On the topic of police and bribes and corruption, I got pulled over for what the police say was making "an illegal U-turn against traffic flow". He asked for my license, so I handed him my license, international license, passport, SOAT and Registration.

He pulled out the rule book, showed me the rule, explained the fine and told me about how he'd have to take my license and me pick it up much later.

It's a shame at that point in time I didn't understand nor speak a single word in Spanish. I managed, "U-turn BAD, mala, yes?"

So, the police laughs and yells to his partner in the truck that I am his "amigo, and I speak no spanish." I get my papers back, he shakes my hand and off I go without paying a centimo.

:shock:
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Postby mruffolo » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:49 pm

I look forward to arriving in Lima soon. America's government employees have more expensive scams.

Over the weekend my friend received a family court order that he pay his ex-wife $3,000 for her credit card bill. She divorced him a few years ago, but out of the blue the government orders him to pay.

Lima's government employees rip off their citizens, but not compared to America's government. Do not get me going about government's $100 parking tickets.
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Postby Jimmy111 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:21 pm

cajun jamie wrote:On the topic of police and bribes and corruption, I got pulled over for what the police say was making "an illegal U-turn against traffic flow". He asked for my license, so I handed him my license, international license, passport, SOAT and Registration.

He pulled out the rule book, showed me the rule, explained the fine and told me about how he'd have to take my license and me pick it up much later.

It's a shame at that point in time I didn't understand nor speak a single word in Spanish. I managed, "U-turn BAD, mala, yes?"

So, the police laughs and yells to his partner in the truck that I am his "amigo, and I speak no spanish." I get my papers back, he shakes my hand and off I go without paying a centimo.

:shock:


Why did they want to take your license?

You must be talking about that fake left hand turn near Wilson..... :D
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Postby Alan » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:41 pm

Yes, that´s a bad corner. I was ripped off there once. I was told my a cambista that the bad ones cluster together and the good ones form another cluster at another corner. Basically, the good don`t want to be grouped in with the bad. They know who they are. Moral is to find a good corner and stick with it.

In my case, I took the number of the cambista to the Municipality who license these guys and raised high hell. I was told that the guy would be called in. I wonder if this happened.

I would also suggest going to the newly minted Tourist Police Office.

Chau,
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Postby curlyguy18 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:24 am

CJ, funny how the police pull over a foreign-looking person for making "a mistake" but when a Peruvian runs the red light right in front of thier eyes, they do jack about it.
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Postby Arroz con Pollo » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:37 am

All these responses, but how many of you do not have the option to withdrawal soles from your account? If you have that option why would you choose a street changer as opposed to just withdrawing soles from the ATM? How much are you really saving on the exchange rate and ask yourself is it worth trusting some random person on a corner just because they have a bright green vest?

If you must use a street changer I can recommend the fat lady on the corner of Larco/Benivides in front of the Interbank in Miraflores. She has been standing there every day for at least 2.5 years, the amount of time I've been in Lima.
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Postby fanning » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:45 am

I get my salary in dollars every two weeks in a nice yellow envelope.. So to get a better exchange rate I must change in the street ( or in my case a casa de cambio ).
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Postby curlyguy18 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:29 pm

Arroz con Pollo wrote:All these responses, but how many of you do not have the option to withdrawal soles from your account? If you have that option why would you choose a street changer as opposed to just withdrawing soles from the ATM? How much are you really saving on the exchange rate and ask yourself is it worth trusting some random person on a corner just because they have a bright green vest?

If you must use a street changer I can recommend the fat lady on the corner of Larco/Benivides in front of the Interbank in Miraflores. She has been standing there every day for at least 2.5 years, the amount of time I've been in Lima.


The exchange rate could be a bit lower on some ATMs. BBVA Continental's ATMs usually have the same rate as the cambistas or money exchange houses. There's this lady outside the building where i work on Camino Real in San Isidro and she's VERY trustworthy. One time I told her I needed to exchange 80 dollars but I uncounsiouly gave her 120 dollars and she told me I was giving her way too much. I'm sure one of those cambistas in miraflores would have kept the money!
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Postby maryjo » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:30 pm

Just what I was wondering Arroz con Pollo...

So someone please tell me... how much of a difference is there between the two options.... withdrawing soles directly from your account, or taking your dollars to the cambista?
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Postby curlyguy18 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:32 pm

maryjo wrote:Just what I was wondering Arroz con Pollo...

So someone please tell me... how much of a difference is there between the two options.... withdrawing soles directly from your account, or taking your dollars to the cambista?


It depends on the ATM you're using to pull money. Sometimes the ATMs have a bit of a lower rate or sometimes it's the same. I don't trust the cambistas in miraflores (specially the ones around Parke Kennedy) at all.
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Postby stuart » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:42 pm

maryjo wrote:Just what I was wondering Arroz con Pollo...

So someone please tell me... how much of a difference is there between the two options.... withdrawing soles directly from your account, or taking your dollars to the cambista?


If you are changing less than $100, you might loose a few soles at worst.
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Postby Jimmy111 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:43 pm

That is what you get for living where the criminals work. :D Try Callao. They usually pay more for the dollar here and I dont know of anyone who has been robbed here.
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Postby fanning » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:34 pm

What I noticed. If you take it from your foreign account, take the money on what you are going to buy. ( If you buy something and they quoted you in dollars, obviously you take dollars, but if you pay in soles, then take soles )
The conversion rate is applied by your own bank in your homecountry, and at least my bank gives a good exchange rate.

If you take money from your Peruvian account. Definitely take it in the money your account is.
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Postby Skip Goebel » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:50 am

the only thing i feel comfortable with is using dollars at plaza via or metro and asking for change in soles.

after reading these posts, it confirms my change of heart. i came here quite dissolusioned about the u.s.a.

however, for about the last year and a half, i constantly find myself feeling proud to be white, protestant, anglo-saxon type, capitalist pig, farmboy engineer trained and filled with goals. bad things happen to me all the time here and i thought it was just me. thanx for sharing your misery. i will probably continue my jokes now about cracker-stealing monkeys, killing gooses that lay golden eggs, and things in kitty litter boxes.
weird. my parents never raised me to be prejudice!
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Postby Kelly » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:30 am

Funny how things are. In over 4 years I've never had a bad experience.


Of course, they say you should avoid dangerous, high crime areas, so I rarely go to Miraflores. :lol:
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Postby anuta » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:14 pm

I don't know if that's common knowledge, but I realized that when dealing with the cambistas, I have to recalculate the amount of money they owe me myself after them. They tell you one rate and then use another when calculating the money. And that happened in San Borja, not a tourist spot at all.
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Postby craig » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:10 pm

Kelly wrote:Funny how things are. In over 4 years I've never had a bad experience.

Of course, they say you should avoid dangerous, high crime areas, so I rarely go to Miraflores. :lol:


Yea. I wonder about that. I keep thinking that some people must go around with a sign on their forehead saying "I'm a sucker"! Otherwise how could they find so much trouble?

I also never had a bad experience. But then I spend more time in, say, Surquillo than Miraflores. Maybe I'm just lucky or blind.

Actually, I think it is just the touristy parts of Miraflores that are a problem: parque kennedy, larco, larcomar, the Marriot, etc. If you go just one block from any of those places Miraflores is OK.
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Postby cajun jamie » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:41 pm

I firmly believe it is the image you portray. I've heard women speak in self-defense classes - "walk with a purpose, look strong, be aware of your surroundings."

Same with men, walk tall, look like you are aware of your surroundings, exhume confidence.

To add to the mix:

Don't lolly-gag around like a tired tourist who just stepped off a cruise ship.

Learn the language.

Blend into this society, look like you live here, even if you don't look like you live here.

Zero problems on my end from day one, even with the police.

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Postby jim42 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:47 pm

I would be interested in knowing the difference also. When I come down I will be using the ATM's.
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Postby craig » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:25 pm

I just thought of one "bad experience" I had.

When I tried to buy a candy bar from a stand on Larco (of course) the guy tried to charge me double the price. So I said "no thanks" went around the corner and bought my candy bar from a bodega. :)

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