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Help - Bank card theft questions??

Columbus. OH
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31 posts
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Help - Bank card theft questions??

My wife is currently in Rome traveling with friends. On past trips we have always relied on our bank card to pick-up cash after we arrive and we thought were well aware of potential security and theft problems and precautions. Sunday afternoon she used her card to withdraw Euros, after the transaction the card would not return from the machine, she verified that the transaction was completed and looked for tape or a piece of plastic around the card slot as we had been warned to do ��� she found nothing. The machine then shut down and rebooted itself. She later observed customers using the same machine to withdraw cash. From home I checked the account status and canceled the card. Immediately following her transaction, several more transactions were registered and the remaining money in the account had already been removed. Obviously her card had been removed and someone had gotten her pin#. I immediately filed a fraud claim with our bank and she will have to sign an avadavat on her return, it was also suggested that a police report would not be a bad idea. My questions: has anyone else experienced a theft like this and how was the liability resolved? Since it was not a Visa transaction but rather a money card transaction it is possible we will be help entirely liable ��� I would just like to get a feel for how this was resolved for others. Any suggestions about the procedure for filing the police report? Finally, any suggestion on how to avoid this in the future? As I said we have both been to Rome in the past without problems and understand and observe the security issues around using the bank card. She is currently unaware of the theft and I���m going to avoid telling her until I have to since I know she will be crushed. Thanks for the help.

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1. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

If you need a police report she will need to go a police station. Have her hotel help with this.

To avoid any problems with an ATM only use ATMs located at a bank and visit them when the bank is open. If you have any problems with the machine you can simply go inside the bank.

Sorry to hear this happened to your wife.

Bay Village, Ohio
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2. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

Bearcat. Our daughter is currently living and going to school in Rome. Something similar happened to her last month, so I will tell you how it all worked out.

She used her ATM card without incident at the ATM machine that she always uses in the Trastevere neighborhood on a Wednesday. On Thursday, she flew to Brussels to visit friends for the weekend. On Saturday, she went to an ATM in Brussels to get cash and her request was denied. She went back to her friend's house and got on the computer and checked her account. She saw that 3 withdrawals had been made from her checking account ($600) during the past 2 days. The withdrawals took place in Italy while she had been in Brussels the entire time. The reason her card was denied that day was because her daily withdrawal limit had already been reached by someone else!!

She immediately called Key Bank and cancelled the card. Key fed ex'd a new ATM card to us and we fed ex'd it on to her in Rome so that she could again get money from her checking account.

Meanwhile, Key sent us an affidavit that my husband filled out (he is also on the account). My daughter was required to get a police report in Rome, which she did get (quite easily, to our surprise). She faxed that to us and we sent the entire package to Key Bank. Within 10 days, the money was put back into our daughter's account. The entire "mess" took only about 2 1/2 weeks to resolve. We were worried, as you are, that there would be some issue of liability. There were none. Key Bank was great and there was never any question about our being liable for the loss.

New Jersey
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3. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

Question? How was the money withdrawn without a card, on this last scenario and how was money taken out from the first story.

Bay Village, Ohio
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4. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

travelkids. We wish we knew how the money was withdrawn without a card and without our daughter's PIN. Key Bank says they know how it is done, but they did not go into great detail about it with us. It is called "making a white card" and they told us that it first started in Romania, of all places. It really surprised us, as my husband, son and I had just returned from 3 weeks in Italy with no problem whatsoever with our debit cards.

I am not sure that there is anything that you can do about it except make sure that you periodically check your bank statement online while you are traveling for an extended period of time. Make sure all the withdrawals are ones that you have made. And, if your card is denied at an ATM machine, call your bank.

USA
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5. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

I don't think I would feel comfortable accessing our bank accounts on-line with a computer in an internet cafe or a hotel lobby. ???

Auckland N Z
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6. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

Hi Ginaloloa..there have been a number of frauds reported here in NZ after people used unsecure sights to do internet banking, mainly cafes and such. Its too easy to click back and actually get the previous persons id numbers. Use only the internet in your hotel where security is guaranteed.

USA
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7. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

Thanks, Mary, I expected as much. Best to do one's on-line banking at home!

Columbus. OH
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8. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

Travelkids - to answer your question. The machine never returned my wife's card after her transaction. She could find no way to get her card out. Since the transaction was completed and the machine shut itself off and then rebooted she was concerned but without further options and figured since the transaction was closed it might be a simple machine error. Obviously someone else knew how to get the card out and also had her pin. Other feedback I have received indicated that its spossible that one person retrieves the card while a second watches your transaction to get the pin #.

Bay Village, Ohio
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9. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

Sorry, guys. I didn't mean to say that you should check your bank balances from a computer at an internet cafe. We had our small laptop with us and set it up while we were staying in apartments thoughout Italy. Even so, I never thought to check my bank balance. We used it mostly for email and information about various places we were visiting.

Our daughter checked her bank balance online from a friend's computer in his home. After this recent bad experience, I agree - don't take any chances when it comes to security.

I was just trying to tell BearCat what had happened in our case and reassure him that the stolen money was replaced by the bank in a relatively short period of time.

Memphis
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675 posts
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10. Re: Help - Bank card theft questions??

I read something in a Rick Steves book on Italy about people who insert something in the card slot in ATM machines that enables them to retrieve the card? I think it was called a "tongue."