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ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

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Baltimore, Maryland
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ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

Just returned from P.V.

Checked my bank account attached to my debit card. Withdrawal from HSBC was hacked / scammed and I show a withdrawal from Costa Rica along with the valid withdrawal in P.V.

Do not use HSBC ATMs. I've been trying to contact HSBC all day for assistance and keep getting the run around ("wrong department", "not our specialty in this department", "i'll connect you" ... to a dial tone, as well as giving me a fax number when I asked for a voice number)

I used one other ATM at an OXXO at the intersection of Rodolfo Gomez and Amapas with no issues ... and no ATM fees.

In addition to staying away from HSBC ATMs, beware of pickpockets. This is a first in my 16 trips to P.V.

I was pickpocketed as I walked down Basilio Badillo in the late morning (broad daylight). I had fairly tight jeans on so was surprised that I didn't feel my wallet leave my pocket. I don't have a thick wallet and wasn't carrying anything that stuck out of my pocket ... so this person was good.

All I know is that the wallet was removed from my pocket, the cash was removed, and then the wallet was dropped. I heard the noise behind me, looked around and saw my wallet on the ground, but no one else was around. Smooth operator.

So, beware of ATMs, carry small amounts of cash in your front pocket, and know that Zona Romantica is changing ... not for the better.

Two events in one week is challenging. Especially since I enjoy P.V. so much. Will see if I decide to return.

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

While I'm sorry these events happened to you, I'm not sure it's a fair warning to tell people to beware of ALL ATMs when your incident was at only one of them. That would be like telling people to avoid taking taxis because one got into an accident. There isn't a practicality to it.

In terms of pickpockets they're usually more common around busier travel periods (we've been telling folks for years to watch their belongings around Easter). But the easier we make it for thieves the more likely we will be targeted...you should always carry wallets in front pockets when traveling, or if you are carrying it in a back pocket only carry a minimal amount of cash. There is a certain amount of personal due diligence people must do on vacation. Just because somewhere is beautiful and relaxing doesn't make it a crime-of-opportunity free Utopia. You've still got to keep your stuff safe.

Again, very sorry this happened but this happens all over the world, every single day. I don't think I could ever write off a whole city for such things myself, but to each their own.

Puerto Vallarta...
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2. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

How did you determine it was the HSBC machine and not the OXXO one? Same Card ? Same bank account?

Edited: 23 June 2014, 18:00
Puerto Vallarta...
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3. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

I have had a couple of Facebook posts this past week, referring to an hsbc hack as well..

So it likely was the hsbc.

Green Valley...
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4. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

Just curious. Did you withdraw cash from your home checking/savings account using an HSBC ATM? Or was the withdrawal from an HSBC account using the HSBC ATM? If the cash is withdrawn from a bank account other than HSBC, you might want to start with that bank.

I've used HSBC ATMs for years and luckily never had a problem.

Seattle
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5. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

This is the second report recently of someone having their wallet lifted. Both were men who were carrying them in their pack pockets. So maybe, don't do that?

Edited: 23 June 2014, 19:12
Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

One thing I can certainly say, is it sounds like the HSBC customer service needs a tweak (and by tweak I mean a swift kick in the behind) if all you're getting is runaround when trying to report an account hack and theft.

SoCal
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7. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

Traveling or not I was taught to carry my wallet in the front pocket a long time ago. Doesn't mean a professional pickpocket has no chance of getting it, but it is a heck of a lot more difficult. And the common street pickpocket has little to no chance.

I too am sorry for your experience, it's bad enough when it happens at home, but putting a damper on your vacation really sucks.

Not that it helps your situation, but my card has been compromised three times, all right here in the good old USA (actually all here in SoCal).

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

Hmm...in the past 6 months I personally know two people here in Seattle that have had their credit/debit cards skimmed somewhere and another friend that's had it happen twice in one month! Sadly, thieves can find a way no matter where you are, although I'm sure tourist destinations are more highly targeted. I always make a point of bringing several forms of payment when traveling (cash, debit/ATM, credit), and have a separate account for travel which is not connected (no overdraft protection, etc.) to any other accounts that I use as my first source of money.

As far as being pick pocketed I always carry a cross body bag which I keep a close hold on when I'm out walking, especially in a crowd. My husband uses a money belt (I have one too) and carries a small amount of cash in a wallet in his front pocket.

This is how we travel everywhere and so far haven't had a problem. My husband did doze off on a bus in Vancouver B.C. one time and woke up to catch a kid trying to quickly empty his daypack. He gave it back once he'd realized he was caught.

Crimes of opportunity happen everywhere. I'm sorry to hear of what happened and it's a good reminder to be careful wherever you are.

Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

One more thing, the chiropractor told my husband that carrying your wallet in your back pocket over time is terrible for your hips/back. When you sit you're slightly out of alignment if your wallet has any thickness. You may not notice it for years but it can eventually cause problems.

Shawnee, Kansas
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10. Re: ATMs and Theft in Zona Romantica

Have heart as I've never heard of anybody not getting their money back eventually in a fraud situation like this.

Suze post # 5 might be referring to the pick-pocket I mentioned. In that instance the person didn't get away with it. My nephew could feel someone trying to lift his wallet, turned around and pushed the guy away from him, and the guy took off. So, he didn't get the wallet. Doesn't sound like it's the same guy from the description above, but maybe he's advanced in the last 3 weeks.

My son got tired of carrying his wallet in his front pocket, so this time he bought one of the travel types that you can hook to your belt loop in front.

Edited: 23 June 2014, 19:35