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Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

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Greensboro, North...
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Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

I had the misfortune of having my ATM card not come back to me in a machine in front of a bank. It was about 8:30 PM and the bank was closed. I kept getting a message- service needed.

I walked back to my hotel and told them about it. They were no hlep at all. They told me to go to the bank tomorrow which I could not do as we had a trip to Capri booked and paid for. I asked them to please call the bank and tell them but they said they could not do that.

I immediately called the customer service at my bank back home and canceled the card.

I then insisted the hotel front desk call the number on the ATM machine which they finally did. I could not call as I do not understand Italian. The receptionist spoke in Italian and i have no idea what he said. When he got off, he told me it happens all the time.

After arriving back home, I called my bank again to let them know what happened and to make sure the card was canceled. I found out in the 15 minutes it took to call my customer service, two withdrawals were made- over $100 and then another over $300. I have no idea how they did this or got the card or my pin.

Luckily I am not responsible for this and the amount will be put back into my account. The bank told me fraud is extremely widespread in Europe and they have all kinds of methods to do this.

However for the rest of the trip, I did not have an ATM card or extra cash. My friend did and we were able to manage along with usng our charge cards.

It is extremely important that you copy both sides or any credit cards/ATM cards so if you have a problem, you know where to call. I kept this in a separate place. This was the saving grace for us!!!

New York, New York
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1. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

Of course everyone's worst fear realized. You seem to have handeled it very well without much assistance. I have heard that they put plastic inserts into the machines that capture your card and then they can return and take it. Not sure how they would get your pin number though? You are supposed to check for these inserts if your card ever gets mysteriously "stuck" . I wonder if you were a victim of this type of device?

Silver Spring...
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2. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

I am sorry to hear that happened to you.

"I have heard that they put plastic inserts into the machines that capture your card and then they can return and take it."

I have heard of this also and thought maybe that was the case. Did you try your PIN, Missshoper, once you put the card in the machine? Maybe they were watching?

I go to Citibank and the card does not have to be released all of the way into the machine you just dip it in and it will be read. I hope all machines are like that some day! It is so much safer.

Greensboro, North...
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3. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

Probably. The nice clerk at the hotel the next morning told me they purposely jam the machines. My husband, who wasn't with me, said he saw on 60 minutes or somewhere that they use binoculars, night vision cameras, etc. My friend was standing on the side so that side was blocked. It must have been a scam. The screen never even came on, which it did previously when I used it, which asked which language you want. I tried several times to cancel but the card would not come out.

rockville centre, ny
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4. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

Do you remember the location of the ATM machine so that it could be avoided?

Mass.
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5. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

We had no problem while we were in Italy. But it might be a good idea to only use the ATM card while the bank is open so that if there is a problem you can go right into the bank to get it taken care of.

Greensboro, North...
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6. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

The machine was at Banca de Roma about two blocks from Termini. There was a park area across the street and it was about 1 block from Nazional where there are a lot of shops!

From now on, I will only use a machine during banking hours in front of a bank so I can go right in if anything happens.

About ten minutes before we used it, I saw at least five people in line waiting to use it so we felt it was okay. I had used it two days before and had no problem.

My bank here told me it is very common in Italy!!!

Queensland
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7. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

Thanks for listing this information. I know this scam occurs at ATMs but I had not thought to only use ATMs when the bank is open. I will store this info for my holiday.

God's 1/2 acre
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8. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

I have used ATM machines many times all over Italy,

I have only had problems with ATM withdrawals twice...both times in Rome...both with Banca de Roma.

Maybe there is something here to think about?

Kent, England
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9. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

This is common in the UK too, and we have been warned by banks to take extra care when using cards in ATM machines. It is not particularly an Italian crime.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Beware of this in Rome- please read- important!!!

Yes, weve had this problem in Oz too. I noticed in Italy some ATM's had a sticker which showed how their ATM should look, and if any different not to use. Its a worldwide problem now. We brought other Debit and Credit cards in case this happened to us, and just cancelled them on our return.

Also good idea to photocopy everything! Passports, drivers Licences, credit cards etc. and keep in safe place.

Hope it didnt upset you too much, and Italy was still a great experience for you. Must say, we didnt like the feel of the Termini area at all and were glad to stay near Piazza Navona.