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  1. Merchants, if you own or operate a store or restaurant and need to install a temporary plywood glass protective covering while Panamanian edicts require you close up shop temporarily, call Taller de Wolff at 6955.0013 or 6520.7860 for a quote. tallerdewolff@gmail.com
  2. I was doing research that how to secure my data on kodi while streaming my favorite content, i came up with the solution of getting a VPN is the only solution. then i research on how to get a VPN in a cheapest way, i came up with another great solution. 49 Amazing Black Friday VPN Deals (save up to 89% off) should i go for it guys? Need help!
  3. I use a VPN (Private Internet Access) and usually use a US location. This morning I sent a question to PIA and then received the following. Does anyone heard about this "recent US legislation?" What a bunch of crap! More intrusion into private lives. "Currently we are experiencing higher than average helpdesk tickets due to recent US legislation changes that let your internet service provider spy on you. Your ticket will be dealt with however you may face a slightly longer than normal response time."lightly longer t normal response time.
  4. As I write this, I am shaking my head. Another site hacked, this time one that hold passwords for thousands of people. What I am commenting on is a service called One Login. It is a password manager service. The idea is to keep all of your passwords in one place and have a program or app on your phone keep track of them so they can all be very long and different. You only need to remember the one password for the service and the rest is done for you. Well, OneLogin was broken into by hackers and all of the passwords, including the keys to unencrypt them, were exposed. If you have this service, you have already received an email about it. For the people that do not have that particular password manager but do use a similar service I would like to caution you with a bit of reasoning. The old saying is "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". A password manager does exactly that. It puts everything valuable in one place. You are then trusting some company to keep the passwords to all your valuable information safe. Consider this... if you are a hacker, it would make sense to attack the place where there are hundreds if not thousands of passwords rather than trying to get just one password of yours. Personally, I solve the problem of having different passwords on different sites by making a formula out of them. It is a rule that I apply to each website when they want me to create a password. If follow the rule, then each site then gets a unique password. I do not need to remember the password, instead I can recreate in my mind by remembering the simple rule. Here are a few examples: Let's say this is my formula to make a password for any web site I visit: First two letters of each word of the website name, followed by the year I was born, followed by a $ and then my initials in lower case Wells Fargo = WeFa56$DP Ebay = Eb56$DP Chiriqui Life = ChLi56$DP As you can see you end up with both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and a special character ($). That meets all the recommendations and it is unique for each website. Now when I visit in the future, I just think the rule out and I can figure out my password without having it written down or stored in a password manager. You can add other things and mix it with your own variations to make your formula unique. Perhaps you want to use the first initial of all your kids names or maybe the last two letters of the website name. The idea is to create a simple rule that lets you create a password for each site and makes it unique. Keep the rule the same for every site and it will have enough variations to make a different password each time. By doing this, you no longer need the password manager service and all of your accounts will not suddenly be exposed with a single failure should it get hacked. It is something to consider. I have always said a password manager works right up until the company disappears or gets hacked. When that happens, you do not have to deal with a single exposure, you have to deal with EVERY site. In today's world, that can easily be 100s. Now... about saving the passwords in your web browser so you do not have to enter them each time - I will let you consider the risks when your computer goes into the shop for repair ! Stay safe and enjoy the day
  5. Boquete's First Poodle - Booca - Looking resplendent in his silver chain collar, contrasting black carabiner and new Rodny Direct hardwood custom-engraved ID tag. Rodny Direct members exclusive - $10 for the first one, $5 each for additional - dog and collar not included. Back side can be customized to your liking Also works great for your keychain! RodnyDirect.com
  7. Sent to Rodny Direct members yesterday First of all, we want to wish every one of our members, new and old, and everyone in the Boquete community, a great Christmas and New Year. We have been blessed with a relatively quiet 2016 crime scene in Boquete. However, Christmas is prime time for robbers and burglars, so we need to pass on some important information for your safety. Thanks to the Panamanian grapevine, I have learned that Panama City gangs are organizing to attack both Panamanian and expat homes in Chiriqui over the Christmas - New Years holidays. The police are well aware of this problem and are beefing up their defenses. You need to do the same. We know, for example, that the gangs are recruiting local youths to act as spotters - to identify vulnerable residences and watch the activities of the residents. When you leave for that Christmas party, the spotter calls it in and you come home to find your Christmas big screen gone. Be very aware of who might be watching your house and especially who sees you coming and going. No car in the driveway is a dead giveaway that all the owners are gone. Return of Slim to Las Brisas Some of you might remember earlier this year that a very thin robber entered an occupied house in Emerald Drive through a one foot square opening in otherwise very secure burglar bars. Subsequently, several burglaries were attempted, apparently by The Slim Gang. Alert residents spotted and photographed some presumed gang members and their activity dropped off. Last weekend, Gwen Manning, one of the first and most stalwart members of Rodny Direct, had her house attacked at 1:30 in the morning while she was home and awake, packing for a trip. She found a very tall, thin robber, dressed all in black, reaching through her burglar bars and using a long stick to fish out her purse (empty). Gwen is no shrinking violet and is well prepared. She immediately grabbed her community alert walkie-talkie and summoned help. You can read the rest in her attached report, which is excellent, detailed and a model for a crime report. She has agreed to let me publish it for the benefit of the community. The key to being safe in your house is knowing when anyone enters your yard or approaches your house. Security lights, simple perimeter alarms and controlled access are all effective ways of making sure you are never surprised. Be safe and have a merry Christmas, Rodny Moreno Fuentes President, Rodny Direct ATTEMPTED ROBBERY IN BRISAS.pdf
  8. Sleepwellpanama.com The Tide of Cybercrime is Rising Fast While physical crime against expats here in Panama is diminishing, cybercrime is rising world wide. Losses from cybercrime may already be greater than physical robbery. It is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. Cybercriminals are targeting Seniors Anyone over 60 did not grow up with computers or the Internet from day one. Many of us openly admit to computer illiteracy. Cybercriminals are specifically targeting this group, especially relatively rich North Americans and Europeans. The criminals include enterprising ten year olds cracking your passwords and selling you out to sophisticated multi-national mafia-like businesses. How to Protect Yourself From Cybercrime A good friend of mine in California, Larry Magid, is a top computer journalist who has made his career mission protecting children and now seniors from cybercrime. Download his free Seniors Guide to Online Safety. Yes, it is safe to download In the rest of this article, we will take apart a recent incident and show the dangers of being hacked, which hopefully will inspire you to take steps to protect yourself. The Anatomy of a Hacking In the last week many of us became aware that a member of our community was hacked and as a result all of the people in his address book were exposed to Internet scams themselves. We’ll Call Him Bob Many of you reading this already know the identity of the person who was hacked and that’s fine. He is not shy about what happened. If you don’t know already, it isn’t important to our story. It all started with an upgrade of several computers to Windows 10. While the upgrade want fine, a short time later Microsoft pushed an Outlook update to all his computers. While most of them were protected by a commercial anti-virus program, one was only protected by the Microsoft-provided Defender program and this computer became infected. Although we will never know for sure, apparently the attackers were ready for this Outlook update and may even have previously installed malware in his computer waiting for it to happen. Lesson #1 - Some computers are safer than others People have personal preferences for Windows PCs vs. Apple Macs and that is fine. However it is a simple fact of life that 99.99% of computer viruses and malware infect PCs, not Macs. There are technical reasons why this is true having to do with the fundamental design of the Apple OS X operating system, which like Linux and others, is based on the fundamentally secure UNIX operating system, the oldest and most widely used for secure computing platforms. The awful moment of realization After the update, Bob turned on his computer and noticed very strange behavior as his file folders first showed up as empty and then slowly came back to “normal.” When Bob went to his email he made the startling discovery that his entire email contact list, dating back to the early 90s, was simply gone. It was also gone on all his other computers, which had “synchronized” with the master list kept online, which had been deleted by the hackers. Attempts to recover his contact list from computers backed up with previous versions of Windows failed. Lesson #2 - Bob’s was using a “free” email account. Free email accounts are not secure or private You may wonder why Google, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. are so magnanimous as to offer you free email accounts. It is because you are their product. Every email you send is read for salable information, every person in your contact list is sold to the highest bidder for advertising or whatever (IRS, NSA, front businesses for hackers, etc.). They own your contact list and as Bob found out, once deleted, it is gone forever. If you use a free email account, make sure you have a backup of your computer and an exported version of your contact list at all times. There are excellent, secure and private email services available from Godaddy and others, but they are not free. They never store your contact list, which lives on your own computer. In my view, they are well worth the extra money. Bob is now manually recreating his contact list by going through every email since 1995 and recovering the email addresses. Of course, phone numbers and physical addresses are just lost. This is what happened to Bob Once they owned his email account and armed with all of his emails, they learned about his bank accounts, which boards he sat on and much more. The hackers emailed his personal banker in the US and asked to set up a wire transfer for something in excess of $17,000. Bob’s personal banker (at the bank he used to work for and who knew him personally) replied that Bob would need to confirm the transfer by phone. Promptly she received a phone call (from Indonesia as it happened) that Bob couldn’t come to the phone because he was in a board meeting, naming the organization precisely. Fortunately the banker knew Bob and insisted that the “real” Bob call personally. When “real” Bob called with a foreign accent, she hung up and immediately called the real Bob and the scam was stopped. But is was very close. Meanwhile the scammers undertook to send scam emails to everyone in Bob’s contact list. Some claimed to be Bob who was stranded in an foreign city and needed money. Others, which many of us saw personally, were legitimate looking Dropbox documents with a secure PDF file that needed to be “signed for” with your email address and PASSWORD. Since the scammers owned Bob’s email account, when people replied asking if this was for real, the scammers pretended to be Bob and assured them that it was a legitimate email. If you fell for it, they then owned your email account and you would likely meet the same fate as Bob. Very quickly, Bob deactivated his email account, but it was too late. How not to become Bob 1. If you are on the Windows platform you have to be super-vigilant about virus and malware protection, since Windows is the primary target of hackers. 2. Internet and email scams affect every computer user whether Windows or Mac or Linux. Phishing, the practice of conning you into providing passwords to fake web sites, is very common. For example, if you get an email from Paypal asking you to verify your password, take a look at the actual email address of the sender - you will find it has nothing to do with Paypal. The same goes for websites - take a look at the URL at the top of your browser - If it is not something like http://Paypal.com, you are being phished. 3. Email addresses and passwords are regularly stolen from companies large and small. The only real protection is to eliminate the risk by using long, uncrackable passwords that are unique for every website you log into. Let’s face it, no one can remember all those passwords, so you need a commercial password manager to help out. This topic will be the subject of a detailed article to follow shortly. 4. If you think your computer has been hacked IMMEDIATELY if not sooner, disconnect it from the Internet - pull the plug if you have to. As you are sitting there gawking, the hackers may be downloading all your email or other files, preparing to wipe your computer completely or hold it hostage for a ransom. 5. MAKE SURE YOUR COMPUTER IS BACKED UP - ALWAYS. Make sure the backup system actually works. Next Up - Learning to Love Passwords Having an easy and effective password strategy is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself online. In the next article, I will talk about how to do that without pain and show an entirely new approach to generating and remembering passwords. About the Author Dr. Sleepwell, AKA Mark Heyer, has been involved in the computer industry since the 1960s. He has designed and built computer systems, written hundreds of programs, owned a computer support company for professionals working at home in the Silicon Valley and served as executive director of customer service and tech support for a national Internet provider.
  9. Yesterday we were alerted to a very dangerous email scam that is now sweeping thorough Boquete. You may receive a legitimate looking email from a friend who is sending you a secure PDF document. It looks like a sign in screen from Dropbox and asks you to log in to receive your document. However it asks you for your email address and PASSWORD. In other cases, you may be asked to send money to someone you know. Never, never give anyone your email password. Delete the email immediately. Once they have one person's email account, they use every address in it to send the same scam to everyone you correspond with. It may look like the email is coming from someone in the stolen emails rather than the original victim. They may ask you to send money to the supposed sender or otherwise access your bank accounts. DO NOT USE YOUR EMAIL PASSWORD FOR ANY OTHER LOGIN - ESPECIALLY FINANCIAL. Once a hacker has one password they will try it on all the accounts that they find in your emails. If it is your bank, or Amazon or a travel site, it could be very, very expensive. This scam is an immediate threat. Don't become a victim yourself. The Rodny Direct Team
  10. Alto al Crimen and Valle Escondido Roll out enhanced services Beginning this week on July 15 Alto al Crimen (AAC) and Boquete Consulting Security (BCS) are offering enhanced security and emergency response services to the residents of Valle Escondido. BCS provides security services to Valle Escondido, and its personnel are trained to respond in various emergencies. AAC provides a community-wide emergency Hotline service with a bilingual operator to receive and relay emergency calls from anyone, but particularly people who are not fluent in Spanish. AAC Hotline service will continue as before for the broader community, but for Valle Escondido (and later one or more other gated communities) the AAC Hotline operator will immediately call the BCS security gatehouse to report emergencies and the unit number involved. Then the security force can provide rapid response while police, ambulance or fire services are being dispatched. Also the AAC Hotline operator will only need to dispatch emergency services to the entry gate. From there security personnel can lead the emergency vehicle to the affected unit. This will save time providing detailed directions by phone to the emergency services. Anyone living in Valle Escondido, including short term renters and resort guests, can call the AAC Hotline number whether or not registered with a number. All property owners are being asked to support AAC by a minimum annual donation of $20. Each residence will be provided with a laminated emergency calling guide in English and Spanish. Only the Valle Escondido unit number will be needed for dispatching emergency assistance. People who want to sign up individually and provide additional information for the AAC database may do so and are encouraged to do so. BCS will provide the service of accepting donations for AAC to simplify the donation process, but donations may also be made by checks to Fundacion Alto al Crimen left in envelopes at Mailboxes, Etc. AAC services to people in non-gated communities and other homes will continue as before, and we continue to emphasize the importance of having very clear directions stored in the AAC database. The name of the game is community service. Alto al Crimen and Boquete Consulting Security are pleased to be working together to make things better for our community. If you have any suggestions about AAC Hotline services to your gated community or neighborhood, please send them by email to aac.boquete@gmail.com You may update your registration information by email to the same address. In any emergency, call AAC Hotline at 6477-6662 (Alternate number 6917-0011) ******
  11. If you are like many Boquete residents, you are concerned about security. Losing a laptop, cell phone, or a small amount of cash may be inconvenient, but those things can be replaced pretty easily. However, if your home isn’t completely safe, where do you keep those things that you can’t afford to lose? We want to remind you that our business in David provides a secure place to keep your valuables. It’s called Nacional Box and it is a safety deposit box vault. It’s NOT a bank, just safety deposit boxes. It is modern, very secure, easy to access, and since it is not a bank, there is NO REPORTING to any outside agencies – national or international. What you keep there is known to you alone. We would be happy to give you a tour of our facility and we make it very easy to open a new account. The only documentation you need is your passport or ID to get started. There are different sizes of safety deposit boxes available. It’s a secure place to keep: · Valuable jewelry or watches that you don’t wear all the time · Emergency cash (if, for example, the bank you use is temporarily closed for a government investigation and you can’t access your account – it has happened) · Precious metals · Bearer shares for your corporation or other valuable papers. Having a safe in your home is good but you can be forced to open it by a thief in your house. With Nacional Box, the valuables are not on your property and a thief can’t get to them, whether you are in the house or not. We invite you to stop by and check out our facility, the next time you are in David. We are conveniently located and easy to find – along the Pan Am highway, on the way to Pricesmart. We are open Mon – Fri, 9am to 6pm, and on Saturday, from 9am to 1pm. Directions from Boquete: take the Boquete-David hwy to the Pan Am hwy. Turn right (toward Pricesmart). Just past the 2nd pedestrian overcrossing, you will see a shopping plaza called Chiriqui Center (July Sports is next to the hwy). Nacional Box is just a couple doors down from July Sports in the Chiriqui Center. For more information, please contact us at 730-1269 or info@nacionalbox.com.
  12. Located in David, Chiriquí, Nacional Box is the only private alternative of safe deposit boxes outside the capital city. Unlike banks which are regulated by the government, Nacional Box offers its customers the ability to rent a safe deposit box with complete anonymity. NacionalBox Safe Deposit Boxes are discreet and provide you with a level of privacy no longer available in banks or regulated financial institutions. Banks are legally required to divulge client information to the authorities. This includes IRS taxes, lawsuits, or even a spouse who is suing for divorce. The safety Boxes are conveniently located in our security vault, and stand ready to store and secure your valuables. Contact us at info@nacionalbox.com Come Now!
  13. NEWS RELEASE December 17, 2015 Today the Panama Helpline based in Coronado and the Rodny Direct Chiriqui Helpline announce the foundation of the Panama National Helpline Network (PNHN) This new national network means that wherever you go in Panama, bi-lingual help is just a phone call away. The Network means that you are more secure than ever, with backup operators and shared information. We are working on sharing other services of great benefit to our members, including group medical insurance, ambulances, medical equipment, secure document storage and more. As additional Helplines are opened in Panama, the Network ensures that you will receive seamless protection wherever you live or travel. The Rodny Direct Chiriqui Helpline serves all of Chriqui from the Costa Rica border, including Volcan, David, Portrerillos, Boquete, Caldera and East to the border at Guabala. The Panama Helpline serves a the area from Chamé to Penonomé and inland to el Valle, including Coronado, San Carlos and Santa Clara. Contacts: Rodny Direct Chiriqui Helpline Rodny Moreno, President 6573-0141 rodny@rodnydirect.com www.rodnydirect.com Panama Helpline T. Rob Brown, President 6501-9876 trobbrown@mac.com http://www.panamahelpline.org
  14. www.RodnyDirect.com Rodny Direct Fast Facts How long has Rodny Direct been in business? My helpline service started in 2010 - five years ago. I have established close working relations with police, bombers, tow trucks, ambulances etc. not only in Chiriqui but throughout Panama. When I call, they respond. What is in your personal profile and how private is it? Your personal profile contains any and all information that might be important to keep you safe in an emergency - from doctors and medications to family contacts, lawyers and even your pet sitter if you desire. Privacy for your personal data is of the utmost importance. Only you can log in, view and change your personal information. Rodny only accesses your information as necessary when you experience an emergency. It is stored in a secure, encrypted online database, not on a personal computer. How can you provide 24-7-365 service? I have a close working relationship with the Panama Helpline in Coronado which also used the methods I have developed. We can back each other up and together provide service for a large part of the country.
  15. Earlier this month I received an email purporting to be from Multibank regarding the need to have checks printed according to some standard being set by the Panamanian banking authorities. The email was suspect from the beginning for at least several reasons, including that it included distribution markings from Constant Contact (a US-based commercial email marketing site), that it was in both Spanish and English (I don't recall ever getting an email from Multibank in English), and the subject matter simply did not pass the smell test. I stopped by Multibank earlier today and they know nothing of this email, and have no requirement to reprint any checks. I recommend caution in taking action on such an email or responding to such an email, or even worse clicking on any of the hot links in such an email. Here is the complete email as received:
  16. Subject: Worldwide Travel Alert, November 23, 2015 Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 20:34:31 +0000 From: STEP Notifications <STEP-Notifications@STATE.GOV> Reply-To: STEP Notifications <STEP-Notifications@STATE.GOV> To: ACS_ALL_LISTS@CALIST.STATE.GOV The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da'esh), al-Qa'ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016. Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da'esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da'esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt. U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events. U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country. U.S. citizens should: Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions. Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency. Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Foreign governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official declarations regarding heightened threat conditions. Authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots. We continue to work closely with our allies on the threat from international terrorism. Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats. For further information: See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  17. 5 Years Experience - Trusted - Secure - Connected One-step registration at: www.rodnydirect.com Register first - pay later — only $80 a year Your members-only 24/7/365 phone number will be provided to you upon registration. Please remember to make checks out to Rodny Moreno. What is included in your Rodny Direct subscription? Your subscription to Rodny Direct Helpline starts with your creation of a secure personal profile, which includes information such as your emergency contacts, your medical conditions, directions to your house for emergency responders and much more. WIth your personal Resident ID house number, a call to Rodny mentioning your specific number summons responders quickly to your location. Rodny checks back with you, managing your emergency - contacting, doctors, friends, dealing with bureaucracy or whatever is necessary for as long as it takes - even days or weeks. If your car breaks down or you have an accident anywhere in Panama, Rodny can get a tow truck to you with the price agreed upon in advance. And he stays with you until your problem is resolved and you are back on your way. For complete information, visit the Rodny Direct website www.rodnydirect.com Rodny’s biggest supporters are your neighbors who have been helped by his dedicated service: “The service Rodny Direct is a blessing for us and we are very happy to pay $6.60 a month for it... we called Rodny when a neighbor had a home invasion... None of us were in any condition to be making important calls. Rodny took over. He was efficient and followed up continuously with calls to keep us posted on how the assistance was proceeding... We vote YES with a loud voice.” - B & A in Brisas “A few months ago, our water supply was suddenly and completely shut off... A quick call [to Rodny] and, in a matter of hours, our water was restored. In Panama, that kind of positive and speedy outcome might be compared to a miracle. So grateful that Rodny knows how to make things happen!” Ed and Sue Davis Potrerillos Arriba “Rodny has saved us twice in our years here. He dealt with the police last year when we were robbed. There's is no way we knew enough Spanish, especially under stress, to handle this situation... He knows the law, the correct people to contact and all was handled quickly and efficiently. Thank you Rodny Fabio Moreno Fuentes.” Cindy Crawford Thomas
  18. I have no first hand information on this incident other than what I read as reported by another individual. . It was was reported that armed, masked men in a pickup gagged and tied residents in the area of Brisas in Las Trancas. Report stated it occurred at noon Nov 9. Robbery, no injuries. . I would like to know if this is in fact true.
  19. The holidays are upon us once again and there are lots of “extra” people in town and some who are looking for extra spending money. You don’t want to be their cash machine. Let’s review a few “best practices” that can reduce the likelihood of coming to grief at any time of year, but the holidays in particular. DON'T LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR. This almost seems too obvious, but in his talk at the BCP theater the other day, the new Minister of Security for Panama related how he had left his laptop in his car parked on the street in Panama City and was shocked to find it gone when he returned. Shocked! And remember to lock your car as well... DO NOT OPEN YOUR FRONT DOOR OR GATE until you know FOR SURE who is out there and what they want. I received a report the other day from a resident about someone coming to her front gate and claiming to be from Cable Onda. She noticed that he did not have a car, was not in uniform and did not have a clipboard. He was sent away. Who knows what might have happened had he gotten inside. There are lots of strangers in town during this time. For maximum safety, stop them at your front gate/door. Anyone who needs to visit can call you on your phone. If they do get onto your property, pull out your phone and take their picture. Don’t be shy. Having a visible security camera that records all the goings on at your front entrance is a very good deterrent and could provide valuable information if bad guys are roaming your neighborhood. BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT CARRYING LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH - Two of the most brutal recent home invasions happened the very night that the victims had withdrawn over $1000 from the same bank. In one case, the robbers asked for the specific amount withdrawn. Not all banks are ratting out their customers, but it only takes one bad-egg, not necessarily even a teller, to ruin your life forever. Even carrying large amounts of cash from the bank to your car is a dangerous undertaking, especially if you are alone. Withdrawing large amounts of cash from the bank and taking it home with you, especially overnight, is extremely dangerous and could cost you your life. A friend just returned from Costa Rica and told me that violent home invasions against expats were very common there, and that the bank withdrawal scam was the most frequent method for setting up victims. There have been cases in Chiriqui where people sold their cars in the afternoon (after the banks had closed), for cash and had the robbers return in the night to steal it back. So if you have to receive a large amount of money from someone, go with them to your bank, receive the money in the bank and deposit it immediately while they watch. Then, if you need to pay a large bill in cash (not credit card), giving them a check is quite safe. Otherwise, go to your bank and transfer the money directly into their account. Or take them to your bank, withdraw the money and hand it to them right there in the bank. I know these are not the most cheerful of holiday messages, but if they help keep you safe, then we can all enjoy the holidays with more security and pleasure. Dr. Sleepwell www.SleepwellPanama.com
  20. Cover your entire family for $80 per year - less than $.25 per day Register Now - Pay Later www.RodnyDirect.com
  21. I have struggled with posting or not posting the below message that was distributed via News Boquete about a week ago. I have decided to go ahead and post it here. It seems to be relevant to the topic of this forum. I hope the originator will not object.
  22. The beach communities, centered on Coronado and stretching to Santa Clara in the west and Valle Anton to the north, and San Carlos in the east, have seen more than their share of violent crime emanating from their close connection to Panama City. Several extremely violent robberies, some involving Boquete residents, deeply affected the residents. In 2013, working with the new Rodny hotline service in Boquete, T. Rob Brown took the lead in founding what is now the Panama Helpline. Based on the same technology and methodology of Rodny Direct and with training from Rodny, both organizations are founding members of what is becoming the Panama Helpline Network. After innumerable feel-good meetings with the police and officials, the residents and Panama Helpline took matters into its own hands. Their story is apocryphal for us here in Chiriqui. It is presented here complete in the hopes that it will inspire those among us who will not accept the tyranny of crime in our community.
  23. Cross posted from the Dr. Sleepwell web site www.sleepwellpanama.com This is one of a series of articles introducing Dr. Sleepwell's new approach to healthy, preventive security Dr. Sleepwelll knows that the community wants and needs accurate accounts of crimes that are committed and he does his best with his limited resources. But just reporting on crimes is not enough. The Doc talks about “investigating” crimes, but he is not the police and has no capability or interest in chasing criminals. It’s a necessary job and he appreciates and supports the police, but his role is not to find out who did what, but how and why they did it. While we all agree that the police forces need to be beefed up and incarceration made a deterrent with teeth. However, no matter how many malientes are arrested, there will always be more. Even at their most effective, police can only reduce the statistical probability of crime - no police anywhere in the world can guarantee your personal safety - you are not a statistic - you are a real person whose life can be ruined by crime - unless you act to protect yourself. Only by understanding HOW and WHY crimes are committed do we have a real chance of preventing each one of us from becoming a victim in the future. Over the last five years, Dr. Sleepwell has conducted what he calls “forensic investigations” of most significant crimes in and around Boquete, and some farther away. He studies every detail of how the crime was committed - which windows did they try to open - how did they ultimately get in - what did they do once inside. He has a large, and unfortunately growing, database of information about how crimes are committed - and how to prevent them. In recent years he has used this information to help individual residents improve their security. However, the prospect of a possible crime epidemic has convinced him to open a free public clinic in order to get this information to the maximum number of people as quickly as possible and hopefully stem the epidemic before it overwhelms our communities. When a serious crime is committed, we naturally feel sorry for the victims, as we should. Many are embarrassed by the obvious security flaws that were exploited by opportunistic criminals. However, the Doc has been most gratified that virtually every victim also understands the greater community benefit of a frank and non-judgemental (and non-personal) discussion in order to prevent others from becoming victims themselves. The WHY of crime is really very simple - 90% of the crime against expats is economic. Just with that understanding, we can make individual lifestyle changes that in the long run reduce crime for the entire community. If everyone simply hid their valuable jewelry and put in simple intrusion alarms, the attractiveness of our community would drop in the eyes of the criminals. Many small steps add up to a healthy, secure life style in Panama. By understanding what is stolen and how, we can take steps to choke off the economic desirability of coming to our town or indeed, to your house. That’s the new slant on crime reporting. copyright 2015, Mark Heyer
  24. This gathering is to protest ALL of the recent crimes in Chiriqui in which juveniles participate! The laws must change to recognize that, even though these are young people, they must be held accountable for their crimes...ESPECIALLY murder and attempted murder! SECURITY MEETING - OCT 9 at 5.00pm at the Potrerillos cruce park !!! A security meeting will be held TODAY at 5.00 pm in the Parque Surtapec (little park at the Potrerillos cruce/crossing)...The Mayor from Dolega, the representantes,police and all interested public are invited. Please put this out to all of our friends and neighbors. This affects everyone, not just Potrerillos residents. The officials and police are responding to calls and outcry from the public. They know something has to be done. PLEASE show up in if you can and bring some of your workers.So everybody knows about this. I would ask anyone with media contacts to get this out to them as well. Gracias all.
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