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ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

Southlake, Texas
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ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

Got back from France and Italy this past June. I was just notified by my bank that there are fraudulent charges on my ATM debit card from France. I used my ATM card several times at BNP, which is the partner bank with BofA, so I wouldn't be charged any fees. Didn't use my debit card for anything else.

As far as I remember, all the ATM machines looked fine and there were no obvious skimmers. Some ATMs are located inside the bank and others are on the streetside. I used an interior ATM in Nice but used an exterior ATM at Avignon. All I can think of is that the thieves are very clever at hiding the skimming devices. I would caution anyone planning to withdraw money. If I ever have to do it again, I am guessing that an interior ATM machine may be safer due to more surveillance cameras and more restricted access. Ideally, I'll convert enough money before my trip and have plenty of foreign currency on hand and avoid using my ATM all-together.

California
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for Grasse
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1. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

Using an interior machine is also very useful in case the machine captures your card and doesn't return it. Then there's someone to ask for help.

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

buying an entire vacation's worth of euros in the US will assure that you lose far more money than you will EVER lose by using an ATM....and the bank will refund anything fraudulent on your ATM card.

And with a huge pocket full of cash, it's constantly susceptible to loss or theft -- and when it's gone, it's gone -- no safety net from the bank.

Paris, France
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3. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

Even if you had fraudulent charges in France this does not mean that your card was compromised in France. Were the fraud transactions PIN based - which is very unusual, or were they signature based? Typically when a card is compromised the information is sold and the fraud can happen anywhere in the world.

And it sounds like your bank's fraud detection system caught it and you aren't out any money - just inconvenienced by having to get a new debit card. This is why I always take a back up card in case something happens.

NZ
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4. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

I'll convert enough money before my trip and have plenty of foreign currency on hand and avoid using my ATM all-together

Not a great idea. You will be far more vulnerable carrying large amounts of cash than to credit card fraud.

Take two cards next time - one as a backup - but request the bank to lower the limit on your individual card for daily transactions. More protection.

Le Bugue, France
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5. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

<<I'll convert enough money before my trip and have plenty of foreign currency on hand and avoid using my ATM all-together>>

Crazy thinking. You're far more likely to lose or be robbed of that money than have a problem an ATM machine.

Take a back-up card.

Philadelphia
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6. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

Did BoA refund your money?

Sorry to hear this happened.

Edited: 24 July 2013, 05:26
7. Re: ATM use in Europe, Caution!!!

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