LAKE GARDA - ATM WARNING!

Sep 30th, 2004, 05:51 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 548
LAKE GARDA - ATM WARNING!

My Mum and four of her friends returned to Dublin from a lovely holiday in Garda on Lake Garda three weeks ago. However something has just happened which gave her quite a shock, so I thought I'd post the details to the board, just as a warning.

When Mum went to check the balance of her bank account today, she discovered that it had been virtually cleaned out - almost €1800 had been withdrawn in the last two days, from ATM machines all around Rome.

What she thinks happened was this. The ladies all used the same ATM machine to withdraw cash, because it was closest to their hotel in Garda. The machine was not attached to a bank premises, but was a "stand-alone" machine. During one of her transactions, her card was electronically copied, and someone was able to get the details of her account and her pin number, even though her card was returned to her and not kept by the machine.

It has subsequently transpired that the same thing has happened to two of the other ladies who travelled with her (all in their late 60's - early 70's). Their banks will refund their money. It's lucky that they had returned from their trip and that the fraudulent transactions didn't take place while they were still on holiday - they could have been stuck in Italy without any cash.

Anyway I'm going to repeat what many people have stated on this board - if you are using an ATM machine -
1. ALWAYS use a machine that is attached to a bank premises, and use it during the bank's opening hours, so that there is somewhere to go if you have a problem (if the machine swallows your card, for example).

2. ALWAYS keep the keyboard covered as much as possible when you are inputting your PIN number.

Happy travels!
ter2000 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 07:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
Ter2000, thanks for the warning!
Will your Mum get her money back?
WillTravel is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 07:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 106
Somebody please explain to me how exactly they access your account with your account number and pin number, but not your card. Do they make their own card with your number on it and then use that, or what? Do they enter the bank and just give the number to the teller and then get cash, OR WHAT???
Castleton is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:06 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 961
they use your info to make their own cards - it's the "new" thing in Europe right now. THe exact same thing happened to me in October, 2002 - lost about $5000 on my debit card - thankfully, I have a wonderfully credit union who gave me my money back with no hope of them ever being able to recoup it.
radiofanatic is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:27 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 548
Just a couple of quick replies. Yes Mum will get her money back. Because she is still in possession of her card, the bank can't accuse her of failing to report a theft. However, if the machine had swallowed the card - which can happen in some scams - the victim is responsible for all money stolen unless they report the card theft to their bank asap.

I have heard that this is widely-used scam in Italy and in Spain - some have blamed the Russian mafia. The machines are tampered with and equipment is installed which "reads" the card details as it is inserted into the ATM. In addition, thieves also install tiny cameras which film
ter2000 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:30 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 548
oops - hit the button too quickly -

to continue -
which film the victim keying in their PIN number. The thieves then have all details necessary to make their own replica cards and then go on a spree.

This is why you should always use machines attached to bank premises - it's very unlikely that criminals would be able to tamper with their ATMs in such a way.
ter2000 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 09:09 AM
  #7  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,146
Hi all,

In addition to being able to make an ATM card there is another scam:

If you have an ATM/Debit card they only need your card number. The thieves order goods and services and use your debit card, which requires neither a PIN nor a signature.
ira is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 09:36 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
Unbelievably, there was a recent incident in West Vancouver where the thieves did attach some type of device to an ATM right outside a bank and also installed a camera above it. Apparently this could all be done in less than 5 minutes and it didn't really look out of place. Inside the bank should be safer, I hope.
WillTravel is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 09:50 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
This kind of "skimming" of ATM/credit card data can also happen in stores. Therefore, it is perhaps a good idea NOT to use a debit card credit card to do regular shopping overseas.
cruisinred is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 10:13 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 106
Okay, then is it possible to avoid the ATM altogether and just go into the bank, present your card, and get cash from the teller?
Castleton is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 11:42 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
Castleton, yes. You will need your passport as ID in my experience.
jsmith is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 11:46 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,464
A similar scam was uncovered in Toronto 12-18 months ago (Russian Mafia) which involved small convenience stores and gas stations.
OReilly is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 04:34 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 622
Let me get this straight, I can walk into a bank in Italy, present my credit union visa check card to the teller, and just as if I was using the ATM (same fees, etc.) I will be given my cash?
PLMN is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 04:56 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
PLMN, I've done it numerous times both in the US and abroad with a BankOne debit card which is tied to my brokerage account.

I ask for a cash advance. In the US I've needed my driver's license and abroad my passport for ID. To answer your next question, I've paid no interest and no fees.

The first time I tried to do this with Sovereign Bank they wanted to charge $5 so I went next door to Fleet who has never charged me. In fact, one time their system was down and they gave me a $10 TC to compensate for my inconvenience.
jsmith is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 05:04 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 622
Thanks jsmith for the information. So if I use the term "cash advance" and present my checking DEBIT card it acutally ends up being treated as a plain ole withdrawl, right?
PLMN is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 06:19 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 106
Does it have to be a debit card to get cash from the teller, or will an ATM-only card work?
Castleton is offline  
Oct 1st, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
ATM only cards will work at a teller's desk. I do it often at my own bank as it seems they are often filling the ATM when I go by just after the bank opens. And I've also done it in Europe when I kept getting an error message -- apparently the machine was out of service, but they did it for me inside -- no problem.
Patrick is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:30 AM.