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ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

san diego
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ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

Has anyone had their card "stopped" due to use in Europe even if you informed your bank in advance of a trip??!!!!

My sons are currently traveling for a month in many countries and have each had a phone call from the VISA dept of their bank debit card threatening to cancel card if they can't speak with the person.... and they can't, since the person is traveling without a cell phone!!!

I wanted to warn other travelers about this.

Before they left, they spoke with the bank about the trip, but VISA won't post a note about a trip and the VISA is "connected" to the debit/credit bank card!!! VISA is like a separate entity from your bank.

As I am traveling later in the year, I wanted to know if anyone has experienced this and has a suggestion, as

I don't want to have to find out the card is canceled when I am rushing to catch a train for example and trying to withdraw from the ATM

Please email if you've had this happen and have any other suggestions.

I just wanted to warn others that this can happen , even if you plan properly (or so we thought!).

San Diego
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1. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

It has recently been posted by other folks that if you have a Visa logo on your ATM/Debit card then you have to inform your bank AND Visa that you are traveling. There's a recent trip report in the Rome,Florence ,and Venice forums which mentions this.When you have a Visa CREDIT card we have always informed them about a trip but this additional step with the ATM/debit card seems like a new addition.

san diego
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2. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

This is why I posted this info!

VISA doesn't care if you inform them you are traveling and WON'T post a note on the account of the card.

I spoke with supervisors and they say that VISA may call regularly during your trip and WON'T stop because "they have to monitor for fraud"

I know this seemed crazy, but it's happened 2 times in only 1 week of travel so far...

St Paul, MN
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3. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

I have had my ATM card stop working in Italy (Sorrento) even though I called my bank. nobody called my house about it because my husband was at home at our house. I called the bank from Italy and they told me that the problem wasn't on their end. I used my American Express card and got a cash advance. it was near the end of the vacation anyway. the ATM card worked fine again once I got back to the States. I carry 2 ATM cards now when I travel.

The self-service ticket issuing machines at the train station take credit cards and I travel with 2 or 3 of those also.

San Diego
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4. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

funtimes, IF you have a VISA credit card they DO take notes that say you are in Italy and there has not been a problem . It seems to only be affecting the ATM/debit cards. I don't know why.You said that "they spoke with the bank but Visa won't post a note....etc. etc." You didn't say if they spoke directly with Visa.

United States
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5. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

If you are using the VISA connected card in an ATM for withdrawal from your checking account, why would VISA care? It seems to me that VISA should only get involved if you are using the credit card function.

That being said, I had no problems using my bank cards on a recent trip (May/June 2008) with just notification to the issuing banks. On the trip prior to this one (Nov 2007), I did have to call one bank because the new raised limit didn't take and I had to do it again.

TAB

san diego
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203 posts
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6. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

I appreciate your input, but in response to your inquiries:

1. They spoke to VISA and they said they'd call if they thought the purchases look suspicious

2. They are using the card in ATMS as debit: this is WHY we don't understand the problem!!

The only idea I have is that they are only 21 and perhaps VISA targets young people with a short credit history...

This has been quite a problem and I expect to get a frantic phone call eventually from one of my sons telling me his card doesn't work.

I've even had the bank call VISA and VISA won't do

anything until they speak with the cardholder...

AARGH!!!

So, if anyone has ever had this happen to them, please let me know!

thanks again !

St Paul, MN
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7. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

I am not sure who exactly you mean by "VISA". I am not sure how to even call VISA. The only phone number I know about to call to warn that I cam traveling is the number on the carfd of my ATM/debit or credit card. That number connect to the issuing bank VISA dept. I have had the VISA dept of my issuing bank call my house abput "suspicious" activity. VISA issues cards through participating banks, never through themselves. Yes VISA owns the network your card connects to for the merchant and the bank.

Some people never have any problems with their VISA ATM cards anmd withdraw huge amounts of money (becaseu they had theri limit raised) every day and never have any problems. other people run into intermittant problems and yes I have read in other posts have had the issuing bank even turn off the ATM or credit card because of "suspicious" activity sometimes without even calling the cardholder.

There is no pattern to this. Somedays in Rome I could not get my ATM card to work at any of the ATMs and then the next day, PRESTO, no problem. One trys ont to let the cash run too low. Some restaurants in Rome seem to have the VISA machine "broken" only aftger you have eaten and you need cash instead of the credit card you planned on using.

if you are really worried make sure you carry a cell phone so that you can call and clear all this stuff up just in case anything happens.

San Diego
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8. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

I travel alone and am getting nervous about this whole ATM card thing now. Last year I bought a phone card to use so I could keep in touch with my husband.

When Visa tries to phone someone to check on the ATM card can you then call them back if they don't reach you? The phone card is inexpensive and works very well but I have to make the phone call.Noone can call me.

My original idea was to just go and open a new bank account for traveling with a Mastercard/Cirrus ATM instead of the Visa/plus which is not as common in Europe.

Las Vegas
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9. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

Hi,

They did this to us in May too - we have Bank of America ATM's (with Visa logo). B of A shut off all of our accounts, but not all on the same day.....even though we called prior to the trip and informed them we would be using the cards in Italy. We both had to spend quite a bit of time on the phone to get them turned back on.

My advice would be to take the toll free international numbers for your banks/credit cards. Make sure they are good numbers (try them before you leave).

It was inconvenient and annoying, but fixable.

san diego
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203 posts
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10. Re: ATM cards and Fraud Prevention!

Heiho: thanks for replying so that I know this IS happening to others, not just 21 yr olds.

Did they stop "closing" the Atm card after the first time or did this happen throughout your entire trip regularly?

Good idea to carry the int'l phone no.s in case they turn off the card!