Exchange currencies and travelers
cheques in banks, shopping centers and Bangko Sentral (Central
Bank) authorized moneychangers. Though moneychangers give good
exchange rates, some are unscrupulous and would short change you.
If someone asks you to watch over his or her bag full of "money",
decline the offer and move away. The money is actually padded
with ordinary paper to appear bulky. The scam artist would then
excuse himself and would ask you for your money, jewelryor
mobile phone as a form of "guarantee" that you WON'T
leave with the bag of money. This scam usually targets pensioners
and old folks.
Cagayan de Oro is known as the "City of Golden Friendship" but
being overly friendly is something else. Depending on the situation,
one should exercise caution whenever a stranger (local or foreign)
offers you food, drinks or a ride. These people might bill you
or ask a tip afterwards. Some offer themselves to get you a taxi
or attempts to open the taxi door for you. Others offer you an
umbrella during rainy days.
If you have problems with your ATM transaction, look for the bank
security guard for assistance. Always be the one to press the machine
keypads. Do not allow a stranger to transact or press the machine
keypads in your behalf. That stranger might already be withdrawing
or transferring funds out of your account. If possible transact
during banking hours or avoid off-site ATMs.
Online chatting has gained popularity in the city. Some foreigners
(usually men) give generous amount of money to their online "girlfriends".
There is nothing wrong with being generous but some of these women
are taking advantage of the situation. In one case, a foreigner
lost around 5,000 US Dollars to a woman he had chatted for over
a year. Aside from exchanging photos, use webcams to verify the
identity of your chatmate.
Women should never lose sight of their handbags. When sitting
in a restaurant or waiting for someone, always place your handbag
in front of you or on your lap. Never get distracted. When a stranger
asks for something or calls your attention, hold your handbag.
If possible carry your backpacks in front of you. Thieves can
slash open your bag with a sharp cutter. This usually happens in
seaports when people crowd and push each other to get in/out of
the boat. Wait for the crowd to settle down.
How safe is the hotel safety deposit box? So far, there has been
no reported safety deposit box theft in Cagayan de Oro. However
travelers are advised to be cautious as there is a growing number
of complaints in travel forums. When using a hotel safety deposit
box always ask the hotel management to make an inventory of the
items deposited. Make sure you have a copy of the inventory and
signed by the authorized hotel representative. If a personal safe
is provided in the room, make an inventory of your own. Make two
copies of the inventory. Do this every time you leave the hotel
or retrieve/deposit something from the safety deposit box. Never
transact or retrieve items from your safety deposit box when intoxicated.
Like any other city around the world, there will be scam artists
who will try to take advantage of you. Whatever the case maybe,
always use your common sense. When in doubt, say no and leave!
Police Assistance: .
What to tell the operator:
- Full Name
- Exact location (street or any landmark)
- Phone or Mobile Number
Philippine National Police (PNP) - Cagayan de Oro:
- Plaza Divisoria Station: (8822) 72-7116
(located at Amphitheater, downtown)
- Cogon Market Station: (88) 857-3178
(within the Cogon Public Market)
- Carmen Market Station: (88) 858-2340
(within Carmen Public Market)
- Lapasan-Agora Station: (88) 856-2471(within Agora Bus Terminal)
The Philippine National Police Head Office is located in Camp
Alagar in Lapasan.