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ATM Warning

Maryland
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ATM Warning

This is the first time posting for me, but I have used these forums for answers to all kinds of travel questions. The people answering the question on this forum do a great job of supplying information. My family and I just returned from a trip to Rome, Pompeii, Florence, and Pisa during the first week of May. We all really had a fantastic trip and really enjoyed the country.

My mother was contacted by her bank asking her if she had withdrawn money from an ATM in Florence yesterday (obviously not she is back in the states). Turns out someone obtained her ATM card information from her just using an ATM in Florence, duplicated the card (she still has her card), and extracted approximately $200 dollars from her account. Luckily her bank caught this before more money was withdrawn. I realize this could happen anywhere in the world, but I have traveled to several countries, as well as, throughout the US and this is the first time I have seen this happen. I really don't even know how you would prevent this from happening. I just want to share this information to hopefully prevent this from happening to someone else.

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1. Re: ATM Warning

Sorry to hear about that. You're right it could happen anywhere - it's certainly been reported in the UK. Usually - and obviously I'm not sure about your case specifically - the ATM has been tampered with and some some of device fitted on to it to allow someone to get the information they need. I have no idea exactly how this works, but the advice we get given in the UK is to look very carefully at the slot where you insert your card and not to use it if it looks in the slightest bit 'unusual'. Some of them unfortunately are quite difficult to detect, particularly if you're in a foreign country where you're not quite sure what a normal ATM should like anyway!

Maryland
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2. Re: ATM Warning

Thanks Vicki! I will keep your advice in mind when my husband and I travel to London in the fall. I have been to the UK before and have never had a problem with the ATM machines. My family and I never noticed anything unusual about any of the ATMs we used while in Italy. I guess that is why I am so shocked.

West Palm Beach...
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3. Re: ATM Warning

We had a similar experience in Florence just a couple of weeks ago . We had an atm/debit card which someone else used 3 times and attempted to use an additional 16 times for purchases at Bulgari stores. Fortunately we did not have that much cash in our checking acct. j We have since turned in those cards for just an atm card, since we never use it as a debit card. Be sure to notify your banks that you will be travelling.

Bay Village, Ohio
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4. Re: ATM Warning

This must be getting more common. Our daughter goes to school in Rome and this happened to her in April. She withdrew money from the ATM machine in Trastevere that she always uses the day before she left for a weekend trip to Brussels. While in Brussels, she attempted to get money from an ATM and her card was refused. She went on the computer to check her account online and found that 3 unauthorized withdrawals had been made that day in Italy. She immediately notified Key Bank who froze her account. She had to get a new ATM card, fill out an affadavit and get a police report. It took about 2 1/2 weeks, but Key reimbursed her account for the stolen funds. They called what had happened "making a white card".

somewhere out there
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5. Re: ATM Warning

In the UK they suggest that you use the machine INSIDE the banks whenever possible as they are much less likely to be tampered with, this does limit the times of day you can use the machine but for the security I wouldn't mind being a little restricted!

Maryland
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6. Re: ATM Warning

Mom83 and Floridagal - sorry to hear about both your ordeals. My mom's bank is refunding the money she lost. But if you are on an extended trip or traveling in another country I can't imagine if someone drains all the money out of your checking account. I am glad that the bank I use has a daily limit to the amount you can withdraw. I guess if you are using an ATM and it tells you that you are over your limit you should contact your bank ASAP.

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7. Re: ATM Warning

I have notified my bank and my credit card company (1 only) the dates I will be in Italy. When I return I will call to let them know that I am back.

I have been the victim (hate that word) of this type of crime 2 times recently. Had my identity stolen in '89 and it took 3 1/2 years to clear things up. It was a new crime at that time and banks and credit card companied weren't so savvy. The identity theft has happened to me 3 times.

I must be some kind of magnet.

Firenze
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8. Re: ATM Warning

Just wanted to warn everyone that there has been a spate of ATM tamperings in florence in the past week. This process allows someone to duplicate the information on your atm card. Take a good look at the slot before you put your card in. if it has been tampered with it won't look "right" to you.

Linz
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9. Re: ATM Warning

Always mind if the slot is as anywhere! The best way is to use ATMs inside banks during the day, then there's absolutely no risk.

If you don't get your card back, immediately call the phone number shown on the ATM. (bancomat in italian).

All in all I'd say that using ATM is very safe!

Maryland
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10. Re: ATM Warning

Myra - So sorry to hear about your problems with identity theft. With the new computer age, I am constantly worried about it. I am consistently monitoring my accounts and credit reports because you just never know. I hope you have a wonderful time while in Italy!! Good Luck!