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WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

Amsterdam, The...
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WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

Just wanted to warn future travellers when going to Swakopmund. This town used to be generally safe (so people said) but my bank card got skimmed there. It happened at an ATM on the main road. Please only use ATM's INSIDE bank buildings. In my situation two guys pressed a button on the left hand side of the screen after I inserted my card. They said it was for international help allthough of course I repeatedly said I did not need help. Just never go to the ATM alone and never accept"any "help". My bank has refunded the amount for which we were disadvantaged (EUR 1,400) and the theft has not impacted our great experience in Africa. I just hope to help future visitors of this city.

Hermanus, South...
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for Namibia
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1. Re: WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

They have most likely moved on to another town by now. Swakopmund is a small place so you wouldn't be able to get away with something like that for long without someone noticing or reporting it.

It is worth reiterating though the important thing, and this goes for any ATM in the world, BE VIGILANT! If there are suspicious sorts hanging about then go elsewhere, and of course never let anyone try and assist you at an ATM machine. If you put in your card and then feel someone is watching you for your pin, or someone approaches you trust your instincts, press cancel transaction, remove your card and walk away. If you can, report incidents such as these to the police, although I know this is not always possible especially if you are on holiday.

Gemma Dry - Discover Namibia Safaris

Edited: 7:46 am, November 05, 2012
Windhoek, Namibia
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260 posts
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2. Re: WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

There have also been one or the incidents of card skimming at lodges or in restaurants, not many thank goodness but its also worth remembering never to let your card out of your sight in these situations! Also to rather pay in cash if there seems to be anything vaguely amiss when you first try to put your PIN into the point of sale machine. Namibia still suffers a lot less from this problem than South Africa as we're so much smaller, but it's always good to be aware.

Charlotte ATI Holidays

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

Too late I know but in all my trips to Africa, East, West and Southern, I have never and will never use an ATM. The risks are just too great. Cloning, Skimming and plain old robbery are rife.

I carry cash about the person. If the guy has the cajones to try and rob me he will have to do it in my presence.

Windhoek, Namibia
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4. Re: WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

Hi Yvonne, sorry to hear about your misfortune. Do you perhaps remember which branch & bank it was in Swakopmund, and what the date & time was? I’m on the board of TASA, (Tourism & Safari Association of Namibia). One of our remits is to work closely with the tourism police and banks, in an attempt to try and get on top of incidents such as these, and of course warn our members who can then pass these details onto other travellers. Glad to read that your money was refunded and that the incident didn’t put you off travelling through our beautiful country. David (ATI Holidays, Windhoek)

Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

Good you did get your money back.

General precaution is to never use an ATM when people are standing nearby.

If the help, quit and walk away.

Check the part where you have to enter your card, try to check if you can pull it of or if you see things that don't belong (camera)

As skimming happens very frequently in the Netherlands(especially Amsterdam) this is standard precaution I use.

Btw: This could happen anywhere.

Edited: 12:56 pm, November 05, 2012
6. Re: WARNING: ATM's in Swakopmund

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