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Most Recent ATM Fraud

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Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
Most Recent ATM Fraud

I just found a fraudulent ATM withdrawal on my bank statement this morning, After working out the details with Wells Fargo, I feverishly logged onto the forum, only to find gailshoults' post about a similar thing. Here are the details:

1. It was our second time in Los Cabos (first time was back in 2005). Our recent vacation was from Feb 16 to 23.

2. I did not plan on using my debit card at all, due to all the advice from the forum, and because Wells Fargo charges $5 per ATM transaction on top of local fees. We brought cash and exchanged some of it on our first day at our hotel (Sheraton Hacienda del Mar).

3. On Feb 19, we were getting afternoon massages at Lolos Massage, and ran out of cash (both dollars and pesos). We also parked at the paid parking lot in front of Wyndham (we found most convenient to park there for our EcoCat whale watching trip earlier that day), so we really needed cash.

4. We knew that if we were to use an ATM, that it was safer to use the ATM's affiliated with a bank. I remember seeing a "bank" (in hindsight, maybe it was a cambio or a bank) at the northeastern corner of the Wyndham building, closest to the exit/payment gate of the parking lot (at the Vicente Guerrero and Paseo de la Marina intersection). Can't recall the name, but this "bank" had a green sign posted on the building frontage, and there was a line of people formed outside the doors. I saw a sign that said passports were needed to get money. I asked the security guard at the door where the bank's ATM was. He directed me to the side of the building (along the breezeway/under the archway between the two buildings, which for reference, is the extension of Vicente Guerrero leading to the marina). I proceeded to use that ATM, thinking that it was affiliated with the bank. I canceled the transaction as soon as I started doubting whether it was really a reputable bank ATM.

5. I then walked further up Paseo de la Marina, where I found another security guard who directed me to the Santander bank ATM in Aramburo plaza. They have this little covered kiosk with two ATMs, just outside of the bank's front doors. I went ahead and got money there.

6. Once we got back home, I checked our bank account and credit card account for any fraud, and was happy that everything was fine.

7. This Monday morning, there was an ATM withdrawal for almost $400 from Bogota reported as a "pending transaction" on our bank account. Wells Fargo indicated that after that first attempt (where the $400 was successfully withdrawn), more withdrawals were attempted ALL DAY last Saturday. It was at this time that Wells Fargo closed the debit card.

In summary, I would caution Cabo visitors about using an ATM card at all (literally, "inserting" a debit card at ANY machine). Just remember to bring enough cash on day and evening outings. Also worth noting that we did not have any problems using our credit card at the restaurants we went to (Deckman's, El Farallon, Meson del Angel, Maro's Shrimp House, La Fonda, Sunset da Mona Lisa, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina). We paid cash at Las Guacamayas and El Toro Guero, parking, Lolos, and small shops. We used our credit card for all hotel/food/spa/kids club charges, and at Walmart and La Europea.

47 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
157 posts
2 reviews
31. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

@PacificNWFamily--couldn't agree more!

I cannot imagine the added burden (completely unnecessary, imho) of getting pesos before you leave on vacation. Of course I can't believe people still write checks either (except businesses).

To each his/her own! Lots of options for all comfort levels.

By the way, we always get $ when we go shopping @ Mega/Walmart. Only bummer is we need to use ATM and I forfeit points. Small price to pay though.


Level Contributor
4,124 posts
32. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

We returned from Cabo last week and only used the ATM at the Scotia Bank in the Puerto Paraiso Mall and the Santander at the Aramburo Mall. We also went to the cambio at the Wyndham where you have to show your passport to exchange US to Pesos. Never had a problem during the years of using these places! :)

Level Contributor
1,601 posts
22 reviews
33. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

Hey Spider, you were there again ????

Hope your feeling better, checking up on your Bar again.....

Too bad you wont be for the Tournament.

Level Contributor
849 posts
7 reviews
34. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

We were in Cabo in mid-March and used one of the ATMs at the Mega. There is a row of them, and several didn't seem to be working. We got the pesos without incident once we found a working machine. The only annoyance was the time share guy who, acting like a store employee, helped us find something and then tried to sell us a bunch of stuff we didn't want.

Beaverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
35. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

We used an ATM near the little market closest to the Playa Grande, and a month later someone in another far away part of Mexico used our card and PIN at ATMs 4 times this week. I think that ATM (not at a bank) had a skimmer. We both felt weird about it at the time, too. We rarely use the ATM at home, but often use the debit card as a POS (point of sale) transaction, where a PIN would be used, like at Target or a grocery store, so it really could have been anywhere that it was stolen. Just more likely to have been at an isolated ATM in Mexico.

Seabrook, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
4 reviews
36. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

I have learned to carry cash, at least I know when I am being robbed and they can only take what is in my wallet, Much, Much safer

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
62 posts
23 reviews
37. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

My 4th trip to Cabo was Jan 2013.

I had never had a problem using my card until this trip.

I also for the fist time had used the ATM near Wyndahm in the outdoor corridor ... So perhaps this is also where my fraud occurred. A week after returning home by bank alerted me to attempted charges in the $1,000s. :/

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1,893 posts
23 reviews
38. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

One common pattern here.The problems seem to only occur when trying to withdraw dollars.I have not read many stories of problems withdrawing pesos from Bank ATM s .I guess they realize locals do not use dollars in general .Only the tourists who are less likely to discover the problem.I tried to withdraw pesos when I was in Cabo on all occasions

Upper Michigan
Level Contributor
3,131 posts
15 reviews
39. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

Most of the time you can do an exchange at your resort. Rates are pretty competitive and no chance of being ripped off.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
5,003 posts
32 reviews
40. Re: Most Recent ATM Fraud

pesos from the Bank ATM is the way to go.

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