“Cash-Based Activities”

The wife and I recently took a trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico with the family to swim with whale sharks. Like this:

Whale Shark

We also recently opened a new bank account with a single personal check. Unfortunately we found that a lot of what you want to do in Mexico requires cash. And because my regular bank account ATM card wasn’t working, we were relying on the new account.

When that got frozen, we called in to the service center and my wife had this conversation.

My Wife – “Hi, we’re in Mexico and the ATM card isn’t working.”

Them – “Okay, since this is a brand new account we froze it for your protection since the activity is out of the country and is repeated withdrawals.”

My Wife – “Yeah, we’re in Mexico engaged in some cash-based activities. Is there a way you can unfreeze it and also raise the withdrawal limit to like a grand?”

Them (and I’m paraphrasing) – “Uh….no. For all sorts of reasons. You just opened this account. All the transactions thus far have been cash withdrawals in Mexico. And you just said you’re engaged in cash-based activities in a foreign country. We’re considering reporting you to the DEA. And ma’am, say the code word ‘peanut’ if you’re being held against your will.”

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