How Safe is your Safety Deposit Box?


I don't think it's any secret that I'm not exactly a fan of banks in general, nor do I trust the government. Having said that I think you might not be surprised to know that the items in your safety deposit box are not very secure at all. Read your safety deposit box contract with the bank. The bank can confiscate the contents of your safety deposit box for a myriad of reasons including a bank holiday, a subpoena, a bank-run, a writ of process by a court or other authority (hmmm what authority could that be?).

Many people are under the assumption that safety deposit boxes are insured by the FDIC but they are NOT! If you store your valuables in your home safe and they are stolen at least they will be covered by your home insurance policy (even with a home insurance policy you may have to have additional insurance for high value items), if your bank fails and closes up shop there is a very good chance that you will never see your valuables again!

Did you know that Homeland Security can confiscate your assets if they suspect suspicious activity on your part? The same is true for the I.R.S. if they are searching for assets. The bank can even confiscate your safety deposit box if they think or declare that it has been abandoned. There are known cases of people losing their safety deposit box contents because they hadn't visited it in a little over a year!

Furthermore, many people have had items stolen from their safe deposit boxes with no recourse whatsoever, once again read your contract, you will see that the bank is not liable for anything!

Moreover, gold was confiscated in the 1930s if you keep your precious metals in a safety deposit box then you risk the confiscation of those items. As far as I'm concerned safety deposit boxes should only be used for wills, documents and items like that, however, having said that, a home safe would probably be safer than a safety deposit box for those items as well. What will you do if the bank goes under or you need your valuables in a crisis and the bank is closed?

Do You Think Safety Deposit Boxes are Safe?

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I think it is a much safer idea to keep your metals hidden near you. There are many ways to hide metals successfully. Of course you can always put them in a home safe but some home safes can be expensive and they aren't exactly hidden from view; if you'd rather go outside the box here are a few ideas:

Put them in a plastic bag, then inside a meatloaf, then in the freezer.

Put them inside a curtain rod.

Put them in the bottom of a fake or real plant with a copper vase.

Tape them to the bottom of a silverware drawer.

You must assume that a thief would have a metal detector in order to find your coins. The best place to hide metals would be in other metals...that's why putting them in the bottom of a fake plant with a copper vase would cause a would be thief to think that the copper vase is what set off the metal detector. The same goes for a silverware drawer. Be creative, one person suggested putting the coins in a zip-lock bag and then in another zip-lock bag and then putting them in a half used can of paint. The can would set off the metal detector and most thieves would not think to dip their hands in the paint. There are also all kinds of places to hide valuables dressed up as everyday objects. I have included a few on this hub.

Considering the history of the federal government, our current precarious economic state and the obvious loopholes in the safety deposit box contract, why would you dare keep any of your valuables in that box in a bank?

Finally, mums the word! The best way to safeguard your wealth is to keep your mouth shut about having it!

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Comments 26 comments

Nan Mynatt 5 years ago

Brie where is our right to privacy? Should we make a list of the things in our deposit box.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Personally I think my things are safer in my home ..hidden.

Read your contract and you might agree with me.

Right to Privacy...that's a laugh!

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

If the bank is robbed and the boxes are emptied, too bad!!

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

That's right..

anidae profile image

anidae 5 years ago from Tennessee

You are correct. Only put your important papers in a safe deposit box. Valuables belong in a personal fireproof safe---carefully hidden. You have great ideas to hide metals in plain view.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Anidae.

Balinese profile image

Balinese 5 years ago from Ireland

you're right - i scan all my important document and send them to my eamil and label each one - and my personal email getting long with all those list . and i dont have a safety box :( which i should

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Brie - What a source of information that one is. I'm like you. I don't trust banks or the government. Many times they are in bed with each other.

I'm just sayin'...

Up and awesome.

The Frog

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Balinese and the Frog Prince :)

Paul 5 years ago

An experienced B&E man will know all of your hiding spaces better than you do. You are living in a dream world if you think otherwise. If the zombie apocalypse does come gold ain't gonna help you anyway. Food and ammunition are what you should be stockpiling.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I think you need a little bit of everything. However, if you had bought gold when I recommended it (which was only a couple of years ago) you would have made 100% on your money. If you had bought silver you would have made 400%!

So don't tell me that it's not a good thing...not only that but when the dollar fails it will skyrocket!

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Brie - What an experienced B&E man doesn't know is where I keep my gun - with me! LMAO

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author


manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

Thanks for all the gr8 info

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome

JC Auckland 5 years ago

Ohoh, hiding valuables in the freezer? I don't think so. In these hard times thieves are likely to go for the freezer and thinking they got a meatloaf swipe your coins....Apparently the freezer is one of the first place burglars look for something to take.

Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

I had know idea bank safety deposit boxes were so unsecured. I had heard about putting papers in a freezer inside a envelopes and freezer bags. Is the meatloaf a disguise.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes :) Although I wouldn't put papers in the meatloaf :)

johnny 5 years ago

what about cold hard cash? what or where is the best place to keep it?

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I would make a fake bottom to a drawer or tape it on the backside of a carpet.

Gregory Cushing 5 years ago

This is BS. The best way to safeguard you S/D contents is to make sure that there is current contact information inside the box. As a locksmith, lost records, lost customers, and mistakes had a S/D opened and to ofter the contents sent to the state. Make sure the bank can contact you, your stuff creates a paperwork hassle. One customer put their box back without the banker and it was left unlocked, I found it. They claimed that the bank stole $20,000 cash from the box. I among other were investigated but, my comment sealed the deal, "It was so packed solid with 24K gold jewelry that there there was no room for cash". B/S jerks.

My relatives were burglarized and had all valuables stolen. All the "secret" hiding places were found. The best plan is to sell any jewelry that you do not wear and have a heavy safe for anything worth more than a couple bucks. Burglars are usually thieves of opportunity not skilled safe crackers.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sorry, you are WRONG. When the banks fail...all your treasures will go down with the ship. Maybe your relatives were no smarter than you and hid their valuables in bad places.

KenWu profile image

KenWu 3 years ago from Malaysia

I never trust the bank or the government. They belong to the same species. Worst they are actually run by the same person in disguise.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yea, especially now that they are raiding deposits in Cypress.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

You are sooo right! Mr. B at one time worked for a safe and vault company and said not to trust the bank when it says that you are the only one with a key to the SD box. He also had his bank account confiscated one time during a dispute with his ex-wife, and although we were only friends at the time, I fed him for a week because he couldn’t buy food. It was later released intact and they said they'd made a mistake. Big deal!

On another thought. I’ve known two people who have had these small personal fireproof safes stolen (those about 2 ft. x 2 ft.). Neither woman thought about the fact that the thieves could pick up the entire safe and walk out with it then open it at their leisure. Both lost all their good jewelry. Also, there is no place in the house safe from a real professional. They know all the places, including uprooting flower pots, coke cans in the pantry – don’t know about the meatloaf. My doctor says he stores his valuable gun collection in the attic because a gun safe invites thieves, but a professional would know to look there. It’s the petty thieves that would overlook those “safe” places. Maybe the James gang knew what they were doing when they buried their loot in fruit jars under trees. I think you have done a good service by issuing this warning. Voted up++

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thank you "MizBejabbers", I'm going with the meatloaf!

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