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Card Skimming in Phuket

Melbourne
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351 posts
65 reviews
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Card Skimming in Phuket

Just thought i'd share my experience of possibly having had my ATM card skimmed in Phuket on our recent trip. I do not use ATM's here with that card so can only assume it happened whilst in Phuket

I get a phone call yesterday from my bank (citibank) to see 1. where I currently am, 2. if I have my visa debit card in my possession and 3. if i was in Santa Cruz, Bolivia yesterday and made ATM cash withdrawls in excess of $1000 which of course i hadn't; i'm stuck in freezing cold Melbourne..

The banks advice upon return of any trip where i have used my Visa Debit card is to call them up and change the PIN number on that card, and if at all possible for longer trips; to call them weekly and change the PIN. I'll be doing this in the future not only with this card but all cards that i take and use that i use in ATM's or EFTPOS terminals

Italy
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1. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Thanks for the warning and good advice about changing the pin number.

London, United...
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2. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Thats good advice about changing the pin number.

Phuket, Thailand
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for Phuket, Kata Beach
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3. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Wait, you call your bank to change the PIN number? So they have all your card information including the PIN?

Isn't that exactly what the banks warn again all the time?

Melbourne
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351 posts
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4. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

As citibank dont have branches like the major banks do, on every street corner, you're able to select/change your pin by using your telephone keypad, suppose similar to selecting a telecode for phone banking; only you know what that code is.

Bangkok
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for Thailand
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5. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

I think you can ask your card ussuer to change a PIN but I am pretty sure they cannot give you one over the phone but only send a new one to your home address for the card. I guess it varies but I don't think they discuss PIN number over the phone.

Just a tip - which is valid the world over, I use different cards for travel than I do for other things, in fact I use 1 card soley for online airline or hotel bookings and another for any ATM or day to day travel requirments. That way you can easily place a limit on the card. It is easy to call and top-up your card from another account should you find yourself spending more than planned.

Also you can advise your car issuer where you are visiting and limit tranactions only to those countries.

Banks / card issuers differ but in my experience they are happy to do such things.

Edited: 23 June 2013, 11:35
Phuket, Thailand
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for Phuket, Kata Beach
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5,564 posts
26 reviews
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6. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Ok, thanks for the additional explanation, this makes more sense than receiving a PIN code by phone.

Chester, United...
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169 posts
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7. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

I agree with Monica.

In UK, card issuers always send PIN numbers via post to the cardholders address. The PIN number is usually concealed by a finely dotted 'peel off' strip on the letter and any tampering of the seal can be seen by the recipient and reported to the card issuer. Another PIN number would be sent if the 'peel off' strip had been compromised.

Thanks for the warning about card skimming Bam.

Personally, I never use my 'everyday' UK credit card on holiday as it would cause too many problems if it was compromised whilst in a foreign country.

When hotels insist on your credit card details at time of booking, asking you (via email) for your credit card number AND the three digit security code, it always gives me cause for concern. I prefer to pay for my accommodation using an International money transfer payment which is very secure.

Like Monica, I also have another credit card to use solely for my foreign travels as a safety net. Travellers cheques and cash are my main means of payment when on holiday.

Monica's tip is a good one.

Perth, Australia
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8. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Good idea to let your bank know where you are going prior to going overseas - easier for them to monitor your card

Melbourne
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351 posts
65 reviews
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9. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Hi Tia,

Most banks here do it that way too and you can go into a branch and change it there, however, Citibank do not have branches on every street corner so all correspondence with them it's either online or via phone. They do send your pin in the mail and you can change it over the phone if you want to by selecting a new pin by using the key pad on your phone.

Hi MicknOlga,

I always call my bank just before leaving to let them know and not to block transactions from the country/ies i'll be visiting. i did ask them the question why they allowed transactions from Bolivia when i had not informed them that i'd be there, they should have been blocked for that reason alone. Their response was not to worry the money will be returned to my account, albeit, in three to four business days and all direct debit transactions will be honored without cost to me for being overdrawn. Just have to wonder, the cost to the bank could have been completely avoided had they just disallowed the transactions in the first place.

Just thought i'd post my experience as fore warned is fore armed, if using your card overseas, when you get back either call or go into the branch to change the pin

Monica :)

Patong
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10. Re: Card Skimming in Phuket

Had a similar experience in Phuket last month