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ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

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Sydney, Australia
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ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

Not sure who this will be useful for…maybe just adds to the knowledge base for the future.

In Brazil recently I tried to use ATM machines to withdraw cash using my visa card. Normally I have no problems. At Banco Do Brasil…I went through the whole procedure, card in, amount requested, card in again, enter PIN, wait…etc etc and then got a message – “unable to communicate with bank” (at home). I tried it again just assuming it was a glitch and then again later that day a couple of times.

Next day I tried again and this time got a message that I had “insufficient funds.” I checked on line and there was about $2000 in transactions waiting to be posted – indeed my available balance was zero!! I assumed that somehow my card had been hacked or cloned as I had heard from someone else (though I only ever use it at ATMs inside guarded bank branches in Brazil) and so cancelled my card. Very inconvenient.

I have now discovered that each time, I made one of these “unsuccessful transactions” (i.e. I received no cash), Banco Do Brazil posted the requested debit to my Visa card. Since I made at least five of these unsuccessful “cannot communicate” transactions that took my whole balance. The money has now re-appeared without any intervention but it took about a week.

I guess the advice is that if the network is down and you get a message like this, check your balance online immediately afterwards. If there is a debit that you have not made which is the same as your attempted withdrawal, then it is unlikely to be fraud and calling your bank and checking with them before automatically canceling your card…and have more money on a backup card than I did!!

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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1. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

Reflex,

We feel so sorry about that. Banco do Brasil, though a reliable financial institution, has some chronic operational problems in their systems and I have already experienced problems on their ATMs too.

Many thanks for your post. It will certainly be very helpful for future visitors.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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2. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

This problem is not uncommon everywhere in the world when you get cash from your credit card. :(

vai
southern cal
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3. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

Francisco-RJ:

We get cash from our Mastercard DEBIT card. It is not the same as a credit card. Withdrawals are made directly from our checking account at our bank here in the US. It is how most travelers obtain cash in local currency when traveling.

We've been in quite a few countries and have not had a problem obtaining money at ATMs.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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4. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

I am wondering if others have the same issue. I was pickpocket the other day in Rio, credit card gone but thankfully, had others in hotel safe. I decided to build up a reserve of cash so used the local ATM in the hotel to take out $1000 Rials.

I tried to take additional funds out and am receiving a notification that I have exceeded the daily with-drawl times though I have not exceeded my with-drawl limits. Allowed once per day?

Is this normal?

Thanks in advance.

Bob

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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5. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

Reflex99, I'm sorry for what happened, but I'm glad in the end you got your cash back. Banco do Brasil is regarded as being a reliable institution and friends of mine from abroad have used its ATMs to withdrawl money. Good to know what happened - apparently, it's better to stick to the red ATMs ("Banco 24h").

boba2013, at what time did you use the ATM? Did you cancel your card shortly after being pickpocketed? In the evening, the maximum amount of money you can withdrawl is reduced.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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6. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

Hi Reflex99

I cancelled my CC as soon as I got back to the hotel, (happened on Atlantica Avenue, got swarmed by 3 girls around 10:30PM local time).

Just wondering if ATM's limit the number of times you use them in a day? This one at the Marriott only allows one transaction per day even if not at limit allowed.

That may in fact be a good thing. Minimizes amount that can be extracted per day.

Hopefully, rest of trip is uneventful :-)

Cheers

Bob

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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7. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

Boba2013, many ATM in Brasil limit the amount you can get each day to R$ 1,000.00, although you can do as many transaction as you want until reaching this limit.

Did you report the pickpocket to the Tourist Police Station?

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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8. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

> We get cash from our Mastercard DEBIT card. It is not the same as a credit card. Withdrawals are made directly from our checking account at our bank here in the US. It is how most travelers obtain cash in local currency when traveling.

In my experience, the problem can happen with credit, debit or prepaid card. I am also used to travel, but you don't need to have the same opinion about it.

> We've been in quite a few countries and have not had a problem obtaining money at ATMs.

You are lucky.

Cheers!

San Francisco...
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9. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

I encountered the same problem as Reflex99 today in Sao Paulo airport... hopefully Banco do Brasil can refund me, since I really cannot speak Portuguese to their customer service guys...

New York City, New...
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10. Re: ATM - Bank - beware - credit card

i had problems with taking money out with my ATM card, in rio, at the airport they wanted to charge me $16 for $100, i assume that is a convenience fee, outside of the airport, i walked into a bank machine and they wanted $6 for the transaction, so i saved the cash i had and eventually tried to use my credit card to pay for everything i could and would look for places that would accept credit card, i know there is a 3% international fee, but was better than trying to take money out from ATM.