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ATM scams

Antigua, Guatemala
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ATM scams

I just used the ATM at the bank up the hill in San Pedro and received NO money. The money has been withdrawn from my account. If you have the foresight to read these forums, take enough money to the lake to not require an ATM. It happened to other people I met as well. I think the ATM at the pier is has the same problem.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,287 posts
327 reviews
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1. Re: ATM scams

Darn - sorry to hear that! I used that machine successfully a few times in July but I'm still checking my accounts to be sure nothing is amiss. Thanks for posting.

West Vancouver...
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102 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: ATM scams

the same thing happened to me, no money, went inside the bank and they said they realized there were problems with the machine. my first thought, why not a sign on the machine? my money was taken out and then replaced back into my account the next day.

Boynton Beach...
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3. Re: ATM scams

I had a similar problem with an ATM in Antigua, although no money was taken out of my account. I also used the ATM this past July in San Pedro that you mention and had no problem with it. Sorry to hear that you did. Although your difficulty was of a slightly different nature, because money was taken out of your account, when using an ATM in Guatemala, people should be aware of what network(s) the machine operates on before inserting their card. ATM's in Guatemala are not as "universal" with regard to networks as are the ones in the States. In Guatemala, if you try to withdraw money from a machine on the VISA network and your card has a Mastercard logo on it, the machine may whirr into action but you'll get no money. Your account will not be debited but, of course, best to confirm with your bank. Also, for security, try to use a machine that allows you to insert and pull out your card rather than the type of machine that holds your card until the end of the transaction.

Atlanta, GA
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252 posts
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4. Re: ATM scams

PBCguy00 - thanks for the reminder! I hadn't even thought to do that little bit of research (check banks & card networks) on my last 3 trips to CA. Would hate to let my own complacency come back to bite me!

Boynton Beach...
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11 posts
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5. Re: ATM scams

Glad to be of help. Since posting the above, I had a problem with an ATM in San Pedro, Guatemala, when the machine whirred around like it was going to dispense money but didn't. Instead, it spit out a receipt indicating that my account had not been debited. I felt uncomfortable with that and was glad I took the receipt with me because my account was, in fact, debited and the receipt helped me prove I didn't receive any money. However, it was a long and tedious process to get the funds restored to my account. Be sure to ALWAYS keep your receipt and check that your account was debited or credited correctly.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,287 posts
327 reviews
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6. Re: ATM scams

pbc guy - Was it the ATM by the bank a block from the market?

Atlanta, GA
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252 posts
154 reviews
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7. Re: ATM scams

Thanks for the update! Sounds like it's generally wise to use ATMs at banks, while the banks are open so you have some hope of getting issues resovled.

I'll be visiting Antigua and San Pedro La Laguna in 2 weeks. If anybody knows of some particularly reliable ATMs in those areas, I'd be curious to know ;-)

auckland
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5 posts
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8. Re: ATM scams

That happened to me too- in the same ATM. I didn't think it was a scam, more of an error? However I contacted them and my bank and a few months later got the money back!!!

Antigua, Guatemala
1 post
2 reviews
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9. Re: ATM scams

It's an error, you have to go to the bank to get some paper printed out, that takes about an hour. Then you take that paper back to your bank. In 30 to 60 days, depending, the money wil be credited to your account. It has happened to me in Antigua a few times.

Port Douglas...
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100 reviews
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10. Re: ATM scams

Two more guests at our hostel had the same problem with the ATM not dispensing money but having their bank accounts debited. This is now April 2014 so can't see this being anything but a scam. It will take up to 40 days to get the money back as well. Not great when travelling on a budget. Never had this problem in over 40 countries which also raises my suspicions. Either way I need more money so need to run the gauntlet at the pier ATM. Will let you know how it goes.

Cheers World Travel Chef

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