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ATM Card Cloning

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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44,119 posts
137 reviews
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ATM Card Cloning

Several newspapers are reporting that Federal and local officials are warning of increased card cloning at ATM's, much centered around the 5th Av. area. According to the reports, much is being done by groups from Romania, Venezuela and Colombia, working with local crime groups.It was also mentioned that portable cloning devices were found in use at Pemex stations in the Tulum area. Due to the large amount of tourists, the Playa and Cancun area were mentioned as among the most active in Mexico for this activity.

As is often said here, officials warn to use bank affiliated machines and avoid the privately owned ones often seen in the tourist areas. (It was also noted a large number of these private machines are being removed due to lack of permits) One reason the bank machines are often avoided by cloners is the fact they have video equipment available for review in case of cloning reports.

I still do now hesitate to use the machines but try to stay with bank machines in either banks or other busy public locations.

Frankfort, Kentucky
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7 reviews
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1. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Thank you for this important information! Will be in area 8/9 to 8/16/14.

Frankfort, Kentucky
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10 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Thank you for this important information! Will be in area 8/9 to 8/16/14.

Great Smoky...
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for Playa del Carmen
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3. Re: ATM Card Cloning

My bank is doing something different for me on my October trip. They will open a 2nd account for me with a debit card that I can use on my trip, then when I return they will close the account; all for free. That way my primary card will not be used and if I have any disputes then I am talking with my bank with an "account" debit card and not a pre-loaded card.

When you dispute a charge they usually cancel your debit card and send you a new one. On my primary account that 7 day delay is a hassle. This second account sounds good and the price is right.

Thanks for the update RobertSDF

Playa del Carmen...
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for Playa del Carmen
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4. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Good post Robert. We constantly tell our guests and visitors to avoid ATMs set up on 5th Ave. They charge to much in fees, often give US Dollars rather than pesos (we always recommend using pesos instead of dollars here) and, as noted by the article and your post, are subject to cloning, card theft, fraud etc. We only use ATMs at a bank in a well lit, well traveled areas. Good article, good advice.

Tony & Cheri

New York City, New...
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751 posts
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5. Re: ATM Card Cloning

At home, I always use ATMs at a bank too. Even still, I always check for skimming devices and cover the keypad with my hand, just to safe.

I plan on using Santander Bank to get pesos, as I have an account with them, when we arrive later this month. We will be staying at the Iberostar Tucan and will be going to 5th Avenue.

I know there is a stand-alone Santander ATM by the ADO bus, but I would rather use their ATM that's attached to their bank for this reason. Does anyone know the address to the Santander Bank near 5th Avenue? I googled it using the maps, but the only ATM i see is a stand-alone near calle 12 norte, which I don't want.

Bryans Road
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4,349 posts
42 reviews
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6. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Have always used my cc for exchanges and big purchases. Have had my card shut down a couple times due to breaches. Always have backup. Thinking about trying Xoom. Any experiences with this?

St Paul, MN
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7. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Thanks Roberto, great information.

Bayville, New Jersey
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8. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Marie D, We found a Santander Bank on 30 Ave a couple of blocks from the Walmart on the same street. We went there a couple of years ago to use the ATM because I was nervous about the stand alone ATMs also. Since then though, we've used the Santander stand alone in the airport when we arrive. Have not had a problem with it.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: ATM Card Cloning

Thanks, dtagg5. I'll use the airport Santander ATM just to get some pesos before we go to Playa. As for the 30th Avenue one you mentioned, is it attached to Santander Bank?

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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10. Re: ATM Card Cloning

For myself, I never worry as long as it is a bank ATM and in a public location with traffic. I doubt a cloner wold try to attach a device there. It is only isolated , stand alone ones I worry about.