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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Default A warning

Hi all,

Just a word of advice. My wife and I used our debit card here in Aruba at the new Chinese supermarket. A day later we were contacted by our bank to advise us that the card had been compromised and thousands of dollars withdrawn. The card was issued about 6 weeks ago and contains the new chip and advanced security features. As a result of the security breach, our bank froze the account, so access to funds for us has been difficult. In conversation with the Fraud detection and prevention people at the bank they advised us that this is happening a lot.

So, I share this with you all just to let you know and so you can be carefull


A
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 10:57 AM
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I Love Aruba Re: A warning

So sorry this happened to you. Was that the only place you used the debit card?

I have always, and will continue to take cash with me. I only use a credit card at Ling's and at my timeshare. While many disagree with taking cash, I feel much more comfortable doling it out to myself as needed, and not facing a huge credit card bill when I get home.

Again "A," sorry for all the aggravation you're going through.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: A warning

Elaine


Yes...the only merchant. Card was used at RBTT and Caribbean Mercantile banks. That store was the only non-bank where it was used.

A
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 12:47 PM
TomFrederick TomFrederick is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: A warning

>>> " I only use a credit card at Ling's and at my timeshare."
----- Ditto! Would never use a debit card out of the country except at a BANK ATM. At Lings my credit card is processed right at the cash registers and never leaves my sight. Usually carry American Express Travel Checks for restaurants and front desk and casinos will cash them.

>>> "so you can be carefull"
---- I am always carefull. After any travel I always go on line to check all my/our accounts/cards.
Once found a charge on one of my wife's credit card after she was traveling out WEST to a Quilters Show/School.
It was for $1,200.00 and from a town like 20 miles from where she was. Called the credit card company and they can tell when a card was not used and charge was done manually. Charge was reversed over the phone and didn't have to fill out any paperwork.
So any card can be compromised. Around here(Maryland) there has been many reports of someone putting little readers on the ATM machines to read your card. So watch where you stitck your card these days.

Last edited by TomFrederick; Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 01:04 PM.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: A warning

tom and elaine, when you live on the island as much as aquaman does since he owns a house there, he doesn't want to rack up big credit card debt or bring large quantities of cash.

as to never leaving your sight, tom, my credit card was compromised at a restaurant in frederick maryland while i stood at the counter watching it being processed. it was one of two times that my card was compromised. i had no control over either circumstance. btw, the palm held scanners are small enough to be easily concealed. i am living proof of that. a debit card doesn't leave your hands most of the time either. you are there holding the card, swiping it yourself and no one but you puts the pin number in.

i hate seeing the victim taking blame for something that is totally our of our control. let's blame the criminal as it should be. remember, every time you hand your card, debit or credit, to the merchant for him to see your signature, you put yourself in jeopardy. in my case, one of the incidents was credit card guess work. the card hadn't even been out of my house but there was a computer glitch that allowed thieves access to numbers. 150 people were arrested and although it's been several years they are still being processed by the feds. the first one will be getting out of jail in about 18 months.

oh and cash isn't any safer. travelers checks are insured but you still can have a problem. making it worse, hotel safes are not as safe as we think. ours was ripped out of the wall because they couldn't open it. it was found a distance away, opened and all of our 'safe' items were gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomFrederick View Post
>>> " I only use a credit card at Ling's and at my timeshare."
----- Ditto! Would never use a debit card out of the country except at a BANK ATM. At Lings my credit card is processed right at the cash registers and never leaves my sight. Usually carry American Express Travel Checks for restaurants and front desk and casinos will cash them.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 01:39 PM
TomFrederick TomFrederick is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: A warning

>>>> "a debit card doesn't leave your hands most of the time either. you are there holding the card, swiping it yourself and no one but you puts the pin number in."
---- But now their are little devices that can be attached to a BANK ATM machine where you put your card in and if you are not watching where you stick your card they can get your # and pin.
In fact in the States I never use my Debit card except at my bank. There I can see if anything different has been attached to my banks ATM. Overseas have used my debit a couple of times to get foreign money at a bank ATM to use in that country. So far so good. I look the machine over before putting card in.

Last edited by TomFrederick; Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 01:51 PM.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: A warning

tom, what you are not getting is that none of these things is safe. credit cards, checks, debit cards, cash, travelers checks each have their own problems. you may get your money back eventually with some of these things but by the time you do, you have had enough aggravation for a lifetime. cash-you will NOT be insured for more than $200 on any insurance policy. hit a jackpot at a casino. get mugged on the way out. it could be big money but they will cover $200. been there. credit card-you will get locked out of your account until they send you a new one. they don't usually fedex them anymore either. been there. travelers check-anyone can sign it. you will get the checks replaced but can be without money for several days if you are not local. personal checks. they not only get them and fake your signature, they also now know your name, address, possibly your phone number and the account and bank it was drawn on. debit card-you probably will not get your money back although it depends on your insurance company. i would suggest an account that had just enough money in it to cover what you might spend. no overdraft protection. no transfer of money from another account. mine never has big money in it. even if they steal it. they will reach that limit very quickly. it's more of a pain than a loss.

so you can have a hand held or a machine held scanner. it makes no difference. either way you are screwed somehow. nothing is safe. you just have to be lucky.

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Originally Posted by TomFrederick View Post
>>>> "a debit card doesn't leave your hands most of the time either. you are there holding the card, swiping it yourself and no one but you puts the pin number in."
---- But now their are little devices that can be attached to a BANK ATM machine where you put your card in and if you are not watching where you stick your card they can get your # and pin.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: A warning

sherry... I do know how much time Aquaman spends on the island, and why a debit card would be beneficial.

I also know that cash may not be the safest bet, but it's worked for me for 17 years, as have the safes and security at my timeshare. (thank G-d) If I have to use a credit card, I always have one with me..

Last year, at home, my credit card was compromised.. I know the aggravation it causes. I must say that the bank very quickly noticed the bogus charges, and closed my account immediately. I now check my account on a daily basis.

I hope my post was in no way interpreted as to blaming Aquaman... or any victim of this type of crime. That sure wasn't my intention.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 02:13 PM
TomFrederick TomFrederick is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: A warning

>>> "I hope my post was in no way interpreted as to blaming Aquaman... or any victim of this type of crime. That sure wasn't my intention."
---- A Big Ditto. But I always like to warn anyone traveling out of their country not to use a DEBIT card except at a bank ATM. Been coming to Aruba since 1987 and never had any thing stolen or credit card # used again. But it seems like card # being used again more often in Aruba. But guess that is because I only Posts on the Aruba BB's. I use Travel Checks at restaurants in Aruba as many years ago there was a trend of card #'s being used again after a restaurant visit,

Last edited by TomFrederick; Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 03:30 PM.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: A warning

elaine, we all tend to look like we are blaming the victim in a crime. it's the reason rapes are often not reported along with other crimes that are much more minor. the problem in this world is that scammers and criminals are out there and for every form of protection they find 2 ways to get around it.

remember that you have been lucky as have most others. in the last 5 years i have had 2 burglaries, 2 credit card compromises and identity theft along with car vandalism. only two of those things were in aruba. i've done absolutely nothing to cause it. i am cautious. i put cash and other valuables into a safe. i lock doors, lock car doors, don't hand over my credit card to easily, don't bank on line nor store my info on a computer, and at least a dozen other safety precautions. i have a high tech security system on my low tech house, lol, and still have been a victim 5 times. i've been lucky that in all of those times, only my cash wasn't replaced and we were never physically in danger.

just remember that it isn't because you do or don't use a credit or debit card that things turn out ok. it's because so far you have been lucky. i suggest remembering it because the law of averages is against the person who has been lucky. as a friend of mine was told when his malpractice insurance doubled in price when he had never been sued in 20 years of practice, 'the law of averages is against you and we believe in that law'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine S View Post
sherry... I do know how much time Aquaman spends on the island, and why a debit card would be beneficial.

I also know that cash may not be the safest bet, but it's worked for me for 17 years, as have the safes and security at my timeshare. (thank G-d) If I have to use a credit card, I always have one with me..

Last year, at home, my credit card was compromised.. I know the aggravation it causes. I must say that the bank very quickly noticed the bogus charges, and closed my account immediately. I now check my account on a daily basis.

I hope my post was in no way interpreted as to blaming Aquaman... or any victim of this type of crime. That sure wasn't my intention.
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 04:28 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: A warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherry View Post
just remember that it isn't because you do or don't use a credit or debit card that things turn out ok. it's because so far you have been lucky. i suggest remembering it because the law of averages is against the person who has been lucky. as a friend of mine was told when his malpractice insurance doubled in price when he had never been sued in 20 years of practice, 'the law of averages is against you and we believe in that law'.
Well, I hope my luck holds out, and as for law of averages, there are other parts of my life where I got "socked real good," and it wasn't about money. Maybe, just maybe, the cash gods in their infinite wisdom have mercy on my soul! lol
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: A warning

elaine, i didn't mean you personally, i meant all of us in general. hopefully, you are right. you have had your share and don't need more.

Quote:
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Well, I hope my luck holds out, and as for law of averages, there are other parts of my life where I got "socked real good," and it wasn't about money. Maybe, just maybe, the cash gods in their infinite wisdom have mercy on my soul! lol
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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 07:21 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: A warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherry View Post
elaine, i didn't mean you personally, i meant all of us in general. hopefully, you are right. you have had your share and don't need more.
Oh, thought you were "talking" to moi, and I was getting palpitations, and it wasn't from perimenopause! lol

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Old Tuesday, December 21st, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: A warning

no, it was my version of the royal 'we', lol.

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Oh, thought you were "talking" to moi, and I was getting palpitations, and it wasn't from perimenopause! lol

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Old Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: A warning

I will be more cautious this year,and heed Elaine's warning. I will bring cash and not use a credit card as often as I usually do. Thanks for all the warnings.
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Old Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: A warning

We always travel with a wing and a prayer.
In AUA, we use credit cards at our resort, at the rental car place, at Ling's...often at restaurants. No problems in 22 years.
Traveler's Checks are becoming "dinosaurs", I believe. I think some agencies will issue you a cash card for the former value of your stack of traveler's checks. Haven't investigated this, but I believe I have heard that AAA is moving in this direction.

I will mention the restaurant because this one is a positive outcome. In September, our friend paid the bill at Pizza Bob's. She left her card in the credit card folder. We wandered through the Alhambra and went back to CDM. About 45 minutes later, she discovered that she did not have her card. We called Pizza Bob's and she walked over to retrieve it. This would have been a prime opportunity for theft of number, but it DID NOT happen. Pizza Bob's and the server were totally honest. I like to mention places where this happens!

It is one positive report, but it is always great to share good news!

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Let us hope that good people prevail in all locales.

Last edited by JohnJT; Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Positive Report
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Old Thursday, December 23rd, 2010, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: A warning

Many banks and credit unions still sell AMEX Travelers Cheques. They are also accepted in Aruba with ID. Supermarkets, hotels, timeshares and casinos will cash. Sometimes with a daily limit. Have been using for quite a few years and never turned down. The cards you refer to have significant fees when purchased, used and reloaded.
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Old Friday, December 24th, 2010, 03:37 PM
JohnJT JohnJT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyboater View Post
Many banks and credit unions still sell AMEX Travelers Cheques. They are also accepted in Aruba with ID. Supermarkets, hotels, timeshares and casinos will cash. Sometimes with a daily limit. Have been using for quite a few years and never turned down. The cards you refer to have significant fees when purchased, used and reloaded.
I know the Visa and MasterCard pre-paid cards have outrageous fees attached. A few years ago, we wanted to give our daughter and son-in-law a $100 card for an anniversary dinner gift (so they could make their own restaurant choice). I almost turned down the transaction when they said $108. Last time we did that.

AAA used to issue traveler's checks as a free benefit of membership. I thought someone told me that the local office was issuing some kind of cash card in lieu of actual checks. Maybe we should investigate it before our next trip...especially if there is no fee.
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Old Friday, December 24th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: A warning

i get my travelers checks at my bank. with my account i get them free but even with a fee they are not out of sight in price. a good thing is it takes years for them to expire so you can save the leftovers for another vacation.

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I know the Visa and MasterCard pre-paid cards have outrageous fees attached. A few years ago, we wanted to give our daughter and son-in-law a $100 card for an anniversary dinner gift (so they could make their own restaurant choice). I almost turned down the transaction when they said $108. Last time we did that.

AAA used to issue traveler's checks as a free benefit of membership. I thought someone told me that local office was issuing some kind of cash card in lieu of actual checks. Maybe we should investigate it before our next trip.
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Old Saturday, December 25th, 2010, 11:05 AM
phillyboater phillyboater is offline
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Default Re: A warning

I get TC at credit union. $1.00 fee no matter how many you purchase.

AAA Cards issued instead of TC have a fee to buy, and to reload. Don't recall the fees, but remember I thought it was too much.
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Old Saturday, December 25th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: A warning

another episode at the grocery. both recent events happened at the new kong fui grocery in the high rise area. both times debit cards were compromised.

please people, be cautious. i know both of the people personally that have reported this. neither is foolish, careless, or in any way not cautious. if it could happen to them, it could happen to anyone.

also, more episodes of really dangerous driving happening. it is the season to be ignorant and drive drunk or mentally impaired by indifference. be cautious on the roads.
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Old Saturday, December 25th, 2010, 11:30 PM
andrea j. andrea j. is offline
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Default Re: A warning

i was the other "debit" situation.
typically i only use the debit at an ATM machine.

well, i got to the register @ kong fui and had in my wallet 0 dollars and my amex, discover, master card and my midflorida credit union visa debit.

bottom line is i swiped the midflorida debit thru the machine (zip zip) and then realized i used debit instead of credit. i also did not have to enter my PIN and did not have to sign (?)
so, the bill was $16 and change.

sherry mentioned to me that aquaman and bobbie had a debit fraud problem.
paul and i saw them on friday, heard their story and went back and looked up our act online....saw the $16 debit over a week ago and then a $40 debit on dec 23 and a $40 credit on dec 24. hmmmmm fishy huh?
so, i called the bank and they in turn connected me to fraud dept.
the card was cancelled and NO way will I ever use DEBIT anywhere EXCEPT at ATMs.

typically for trip i bring a mix of cash and traveler's checks.
i never (almost never) use the debit card.
i rarely use credit card except for car rental.
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Old Sunday, December 26th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: A warning

thanks andrea! you were on your flight home when i found out about this from aquaman so i posted only knowing part of the story. i really appreciate your clarification.

ironically, i just got my first debit card (love using my credit cards for air miles, lol) only to use for emergencies and at costco which is limited to amex. now i am thinking it may never be used anywhere but for emergencies.

it does concern me when i hear of two incidents at the same location. that doesn't mean that you should not use this store, it just means to use other methods than debit cards to make your purchases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea j. View Post
i was the other "debit" situation.
typically i only use the debit at an ATM machine.

well, i got to the register @ kong fui and had in my wallet 0 dollars and my amex, discover, master card and my midflorida credit union visa debit.

bottom line is i swiped the midflorida debit thru the machine (zip zip) and then realized i used debit instead of credit. i also did not have to enter my PIN and did not have to sign (?)
so, the bill was $16 and change.

sherry mentioned to me that aquaman and bobbie had a debit fraud problem.
paul and i saw them on friday, heard their story and went back and looked up our act online....saw the $16 debit over a week ago and then a $40 debit on dec 23 and a $40 credit on dec 24. hmmmmm fishy huh?
so, i called the bank and they in turn connected me to fraud dept.
the card was cancelled and NO way will I ever use DEBIT anywhere EXCEPT at ATMs.

typically for trip i bring a mix of cash and traveler's checks.
i never (almost never) use the debit card.
i rarely use credit card except for car rental.
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