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Credit Card Used

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Indianapolis
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Credit Card Used

So, I was in Cozumel through Tuesday 10/4. During that time I used my bank Visa check card three times.

1. At the Occidental Grand at the peso-giving ATM.

2. Downtown at the ATM right across from the ferry dock in the jewelry store (USD)

3. Downtown south a bit...I believe 7 Sur at a USD ATM.

That's it. Used it as a bank card (with PIN) every time. Never as a credit card.

I am aware of the overlays that go on the machines to scan cards, cameras to record your PIN entry, etc. I can't say I scoured the machines but I did look them over and examine the card entry, etc.

This week I see two pending charges, totalling $810. Didn't ring a bell and I don't use this card for most charges (I use Amex for rewards). So, the bank tells me they were charged using the visa card number on the front of the card and gives me the contact number for the company that the charges were through.

The company seems to be a commerce front of some kind, "Plimus" (plee-mus). I call them and they ask if I made the charges, which were for some sort of UAE business directory (lol). I let them know that I did not, and they said the charges will be canceled.

They gave me the information that had been used. Whoever attempted these charges used an email address of "maxwell4ever2000@yahoo.com" (not mine!) and DID know my home phone number.

The last part is the most suspicious to me. The only connection I can make to anyone in Cozumel who could possibly have known my home phone number would have been someone at the hotel.

Anyway, the charges are canceled, the card is canceled, and a new one is on the way. Mostly just wanted to warn people and possibly see if anyone had a similar experience after using any of these ATM's.

Davie, Florida
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11,187 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Credit Card Used

yup, gotta call from the Brownsville Texas Wal-Mart asking if I was buying a TV by my cards fraud unit. I have never been to Brownsville. The charge was canceled. Happened to my daughter too.

Welcome to Mexico

The Colony, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
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1,743 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Credit Card Used

Never had that problem on Cozumel - but I RARELY use the ATM's at the square - I usually go to Santander.

However, just this week I went to Joe's Crab Shack here in the DFW area and got charged for our dinner 4 x ! All at different times too - once was 2 days later - so it wasn't that the guy scanned it over and over at the time of our meal ! Very fishy - but luckily my $$$ is back and all is well !

3. Re: Credit Card Used

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Removed on: 08 October 2010, 20:35
Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
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12,280 posts
47 reviews
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4. Re: Credit Card Used

Does credit card fraud happen everywhere? I am sure it does!

But to ME, it has only happened in Mexico, and twice now.

So I try to not use my credit card in Mexico....actually I very rarely use it anywhere, but I try to pay for everything in pesos when in Mexico whenver possible.

Also, my Visa chares an extra 3% 'international transaction fee' on all foreign purchases- which is just more of a greedy money grab-more reason to not use it. :)

Davie, Florida
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11,187 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Credit Card Used

its the cozumel forum chris, not the usa forum.

texas
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2,099 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Credit Card Used

Oh Chris, don't be so ridiculous. Of course everybody knows and agrees that it happens in the U.S. It happens everywhere.

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
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42,149 posts
135 reviews
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7. Re: Credit Card Used

I have used ATMs in Mexico for many years. However , I would never use an ATM not belonging to a bank. In my opinion , asking for trouble. And I would never use an ATM dispensing dollars----for one thing the fees are out of sight, since you are actually doing two exchanges. I think the free standing ATMS in Cozumel, are all a scam of some sort. (not only in Cozumel--they are popping up everywhere. And try to find who owns the machine)

I recommend ATMs---in pesos and bank affiliated.

Texas
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533 posts
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8. Re: Credit Card Used

It occurs everywhere, but LAtin Americas rate of it is much higher I believe.

Appreciate the heads up very much!

Edmonton, Canada
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876 posts
8 reviews
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9. Re: Credit Card Used

Thanks for the reminder, we are leaving in a couple of weeks and will be on the lookout for this.

Indianapolis
9 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Credit Card Used

Yes, I realized while using the dollar-dispensing machine that it was really pulling a fast one on the exchange. For those not aware, it works something like this. The machine displays a message that you have to agree to that says something along the lines of:

"Hello, you just requested $100USD. I am going to charge you a $60MXN fee and then I need to convert your request to pesos, since you are withdrawing in Mexico.

Let's use $14.5MXN to $1USD as our exchange rate. So your withdrawal is really $1450MXN. But don't worry, I'm going to give you USD!"

Of course that ISN'T the going exchange rate (about 12.5 right now), but you have to agree to that to use the machine. So the bank (I'd have to look back but yes, these are bank-affiliated machines) is actually going to charge you $1450/12.5 = $116USD to withdraw $100USD, plus the approximate $5USD fee. And then of course on the other side you have to pay whatever YOUR bank charges for the international transaction.

At this point I'm thinking to myself, wow, what a scam, I should have come with more cash but lesson learned I suppose. I had no idea I'd also be canceling my card due to fraud.

Next time I'd go with a boatload of cash (both USD and MXN, my bank doesn't charge much to convert), probably a few traveler's checks for emergencies, and one credit card (not my bank card) for emergencies. Hotel safes are there for a reason!