We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

ATMs in Rio: warning

Which Rio de Janeiro hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
4,521 posts
81 reviews
Save Topic
ATMs in Rio: warning

Dear travelers,

There have been several reports on this forum of scams in ATMs in Rio, especially the ones located at the International Airport.

In view of the above:

1) Avoid using ATMs located at the airport, subway stations and other public areas;

2) When arriving at the airport, exchange only the necessary at an exchange booth, so that you can get your reais and pay for your ground transportation. Exchange booths at the airport usually have worse rates, so the suggestion we've givien is: get the necessary and withdrawl money from ATM machines as per the instructions on item #3;

3) Use ATMs located inside bank agencies around the city, especially Banco do Brasil, which apparently has shown to be more compatible with foreign cards (look for the ATM machines which have stickers of card flags – Visa, MasterCard, etc – attached to them). Citibank, HSBC and other international banks may also have compatible machines.

4) If you've been a victim of any kind of fraud, contact your bank. They usually reimburse you within some hours or days, as in most jurisdictions – including under Brazilian Law – they have to do it so, as it is their duty to keep their costumers free of frauds.

Further information:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k464…

Moreover, it's also important to know that ATMs won't allow you withdrawl more than R$ 1,000 per day. In some banks, the limit may be as low as R$ 300. Also avoid withdrawing money in the evening, as some banks won't let you do it when it's late. Further information:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k620…

Remember that credit cards are widely accepted in restaurants, bars, clubs, supermarkets, etc, so you won't need to withdrawl money from ATM machines all the time.

All the best,

Jgsodre

131 replies to this topic
Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1 post
4 reviews
Save Reply
51. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

I arrived in Rio on the 6th of May, used my atm card (Wells Fargo) at a HSBC kiosk at the airport. One week later my card was used in Peru 7 times, exact amount each time usually twice a day (likely = to Brazilian currency) I'm out $1400. I assume my info was sold, there was some device installed on the atm. I never told my bank I was going to be in Peru, so I'll assume after much ado I'll be reimbursed even if I have to sue my bank. Surprised there was no fraud alert on my account, as the transactions look highly suspect. So please beware....DO NOT USE kiosks at airports.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
4,521 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
52. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

Those coming from the US, should definitely try to order a chip card from their bank. Unfortunately, the US has not adopted this model as a standard, unlike the majority of the world.

"A chip card is a standard-size plastic credit card with both an embedded microchip and a traditional magnetic stripe. The embedded chip makes the card extremely difficult to counterfeit or copy. Chip security will soon become the standard in the United States, and you can currently enjoy greater card acceptance in more than 130 countries including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, where chip cards are already standard." Source: http://tinyurl.com/kdoyzrl

"The problem is mostly chip-and-PIN technology. They use it, we don’t. Chip-and-PIN, for the uninitiated, is the common name for the EMV smart card payment system used by credit, debit and ATM cards in Europe and most of the rest of the world. The systems authenticate your identity by means of a computer chip embedded in the card and a personal identification number, or PIN.

Most American credit cards use an older credit card technology that relies on a magnetic strip to verify the customer, also referred to as swipe-and-sign. They’ve been slower to adopt the technology primarily because of price. It’s cheaper to write off the cost of the fraud resulting from the less secure credit card technology than to invest in the more secure chip-and-PIN systems. The United States is scheduled to begin broadly adopting chip technology next year.

Until then, here’s what you need to know: Credit card problems are more frequent than your bank wants you to think. While an increasing number of banks offer chipped cards, only a few are actually worth carrying. And by the way, if you’re reading this story, you probably need one." http://tinyurl.com/nw9x9w9

Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
18,358 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
53. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

Good advice about chip cards.

Card cloning at airport ATMs continue. A World Cup fan discovered his account was debited for $12,000.

http://bit.ly/1mMUFZ7

Philadelphia
Level Contributor
36 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
54. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

I wish I had known about the chips before! I leave in two days and it's too late. Last year I had no problem with ATMs though, knock on wood. I'm actually going to be using a different card so I hope it works!

Fresno, California
1 post
Save Reply
55. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

On June 9th I Had a layover of 4 hours at the Rio airport and decided to get some cash (reals) from the ATM's located upstairs and all 3 seem not to be working? as I could not get any cash. Oh boy, did I get in trouble...:(

I came back on the 19th just to find out that my bank account was wiped out for more then $13k. I reported the problem to my bank and within 2 days they refunded all temporarily until they finish their investigation.

My advise to all don't use those machines at all...:)

Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
18,358 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
56. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

lucero65—Use ATMs only inside the lobbies of bank buildings in Rio rather than on the street (where they're easier for thieves to access). Don't use the ones at the airport.

If you're using an ATM machine that is not inside a bank, examine it carefully for devices. Card or cash trapping devices need to be glued or taped to the card reader or cash dispenser. Look for “extra” cameras beyond the basic and generally obvious ATM security camera.

Report confiscated cards immediately. If you can, don't leave the machine. Instead call the bank from the ATM where your card was taken using a cell phone.

Never use an ATM machine when other people are lingering.

If an ATM anywhere in Rio looks funny, don't use it. Make sure there is no device attached to any ATM card slot you use.

As a general rule, the mouth of a card receptacle on an ATM machine should be flush with the machine or have only a very slight lip. If it looks or feels different when you swipe your card, or has an extra piece of plastic sticking out from the card slot, it may be a skimmer, an electronic device placed there by thieves that captures your credit card information when you swipe it.

If you notice it after you've already inserted your card, you should alert your bank so they can watch for any fraudulent charges to your account.

Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
101 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
57. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

Just got back from world cup in Rio. Had a fantastic time.loved everything.

I only used the atm machines INSIDE the same CITIBANK branch in ipanema everytime. I never used this card for anything else, anywhere else. card was looked in room safe 99% of the time.Just got home and found $680 charge for what looks like airline tickets within Brazil. How the hell does this happen?

this is like an inside job., cant win.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
16 posts
1 review
Save Reply
58. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

They got me today as well. Luckily, the bank put a hold on my card and will credit me the $600 they got from my account, but definitely the upstairs airport ATM.

I believe I used the HSBC ATM but then got scammed and it showed up in a few transactions as "TECBAN P.ACUCAR S. RIO DE JANEIR" on my account. One of the lines said "000000000000" for $90 after they got $450 from TECBAN.

Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
47 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
59. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

Hello everyone, the ATM situation is really stressful. I find myself worrying about the ATM's instead of being excited for this wonderful city.

I have a question regarding ATMs at the Airport, are there any banks inside the airport with ATM? Are they safe? I won't have any money to pay for the taxi, so, can anyone advise me on what can I do?

Thanks!

Philadelphia
Level Contributor
36 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
60. Re: ATMs in Rio: warning

If Rio is your first stop your best bet is to go to a bank in your own city/country and buy some reais before you get to Brazil. The exchange rate is going to be bad but it is better than getting scammed on those ATMs in the airport.

Also be careful with the taxis! I speak Portuguese fluently and look Brazilian and I got ripped off by the taxi driver in Rio at the airport (I was coming from S. Paulo) who tried to charge me 3x as much. I got him down to 2x as much arguing with him in the cab. I was used to dealing with a different system in S. Paulo at the airport. I would recommend booking the taxi inside the Rio airport. They might take credit cards at the booking booth. (I was able to use credit cards with taxi drivers in S. Paulo--they have the machine in the taxi, and definitely from the airport) If you even seem like you are from another Brazilian city, or not Brazilian, some of the yellow taxi drivers will try to rip you off.

Better still, if you are going to any of the hotels in the Zona Sul and you don't have that much luggage you can take the special bus from the airport.

Edited: 1:39 pm, October 05, 2014
Reply to: ATMs in Rio: warning
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted