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Old 04-19-2006   #1 (permalink)
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$1000 in fraudelent charges and growing

I remember rading a warning about this a while back, but it Happened to me. Just decided to look at my online bank statement and found $1000 in charges from hotels, to the blue parrot and Yamaha? of playa del carmen. There are some more in the pending stage also. I returned almost two weeks ago.Turns out the card will now just show up as denied and the perp will simply throw it out and move on to his next victim. Hows that for justice. The customer service rep i spoke with says that they seemed to have duplicated my card and are not simply using my numbers from a receipt. That is crazy considering I used it simply at bank ATM's and well known establishments such as my hotel and well known restaurants. Just wondering , does anyone have the number or know of a hotel that may come up as Gran Hotel Matamoros Residencial. I would love to have this person caught and it seems that this was his recent transaction.
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Old 04-19-2006   #2 (permalink)
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I had the same thing happen to me in Puerto Vallarta about 4 years ago. It's very frustrating. That's why I don't use debit or credit cards in the restaurants or hotels.
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Old 04-19-2006   #3 (permalink)
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http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwest...ertyCode=70141
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Old 04-19-2006   #4 (permalink)
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Jamesblonde,
My first trip to Playa, and out of the country no less, is coming up in June, so I'm wondering if you would mind sharing your method of getting around credit card use while traveling. Even if I wanted to pay with cash or travelers checks, hotels usually ask for a card imprint at check in for incidentals, right? From your post I am inferring that you use cash while out shopping and eating, but can I feel safe using an ATM to obtain the cash? The above poster said he only used his card at the hotel and ATMs. What do you think?
I undersatnd that scammers are everywhere and certainly not unique to Playa, so I am hoping I might be able to learn the least risky was to pay for things while traveling in general. Anything you can share will be helpful, and I apologise to all if there might be other posts on this topic. I just opened this post up and read Jamesblond's reply, so now I'm very interested in what you know. Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2006   #5 (permalink)
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We only give our hotel the c card upon arrival and do not use it anywhere else for the rest the trip.
Since we have always stayed at All inclusive that works for us. Naturally we bring cash for trips to town and cabs and tips.

But another way to to do if using credit card -call your company and ask them just to issue you a card with say a $500 limit or whatever you think you might need and inform them you are traveling to Mexico and this way if there is a prob at least the thief won't get away with to much.
Also a good thing to use a card with small limit when ordering items on the internet.
That's my suggestion.
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Old 04-19-2006   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesblonde
I had the same thing happen to me in Puerto Vallarta about 4 years ago. It's very frustrating. That's why I don't use debit or credit cards in the restaurants or hotels.
Me too, in PV, but it was about 8 years ago now. And I also never use credit cards anymore on vacation. But I have no issues with using debit cards at the ATMs.
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Old 04-19-2006   #7 (permalink)
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I know, not least because I have been the victim of it at least twice while living in the States and once while living in Japan, that credit card fraud is very frustrating.

However it's also very frustrating to see continued by implication in the replies so far the conventional but false wisdom that credit card fraud is more common here in Mexico and credit card use is subsequently more dangerous here than elsewhere. I know Denisea has posted links in the past on this topic, including one that I later picked up and cross-posted elsewhere from the site of a Canadian research organization that showed fraud occurring a whopping 1,000 times more in the U.S. and I think it was 100 times more in Canada as in Mexico, among other things. This corroborates my own experience of having lived in Mexico with my wife some 6 years now and neither one of us experiencing a single incident of fraud during that time (even though we do use our cards at restaurants and even hotels from time to time).

Like the occasional crime you hear about here, it's not about travel or about travel to Mexico, it's just what happens all over. We seem to take note of it a lot more when it happens in an unusual context like that of foreign travel or a foreign country, but that doesn't mean it happens more or is more likely to happen to you, and in fact it appears much less likely to happen to you while here than while back home, at least for those of you from the States and Canada. So I don't think there's much point to some kind of special strategies to avoid card use when travelling, there's just a general problem of trying to combat credit card fraud in the world and strategies to avoid it wherever you use your card.

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Old 04-19-2006   #8 (permalink)
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Too True

Stogey got ripped off right here at home,just last month.
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Old 04-19-2006   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softy57
Stogey got ripped off right here at home,just last month.
Whoa, that means Stogey sort of supports a claim put forth by me!

Steve
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Old 04-19-2006   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
However it's also very frustrating to see continued by implication in the replies so far the conventional but false wisdom that credit card fraud is more common here in Mexico and credit card use is subsequently more dangerous here than elsewhere. I know Denisea has posted links in the past on this topic, including one that I later picked up and cross-posted elsewhere from the site of a Canadian research organization that showed fraud occurring a whopping 1,000 times more in the U.S. and I think it was 100 times more in Canada as in Mexico, among other things. This corroborates my own experience of having lived in Mexico with my wife some 6 years now and neither one of us experiencing a single incident of fraud during that time (even though we do use our cards at restaurants and even hotels from time to time).
I don't doubt those stats at all...and I apologize if I came off as implying that it is more common in Mexico.

More common perhaps wherever tourism is common, would be a more fair statement? As heavy tourist areas attract crimes like this, no matter where in the world?

Anyway- I can only relate my own personal experience with credit card fraud- which is two incidences, both involving trips to Mexico- once after a trip to PV, and once when using a cc at a pay phone in Playa- but, it is very important to note, that was an AMERICAN phone company, the operator had a southern accent!

Also it's important to note, that my husband and I very rarely use credit cards here at home- so the chances were about equal it would happen on a trip rather than at home. To be safe, we just decided to not use them at all, and get cash from ATMs- it's easier and cheaper and 'seems' safer to us (even if safety is not really a factor at all ).
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Old 04-19-2006   #11 (permalink)
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Well, I don't know how recent those studies were, Steve. I know that I read a report in the paper here rather recently about credit card fraud (Globe and Mail, not a rag-newspaper). It said cc fraud was on the decline here due to increased vigilance of requiring a second piece of ID, checking signatures, checking the 3 digit ID code on the back for non-card producing purchases, etc. It also said some typical vacation destination countries were not declining in cc fraud as they were not adhering to these safety practices.
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Old 04-19-2006   #12 (permalink)
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I think it's a good time to remind those traveling to a different than normal location that they inform their credit card company of the travel and dates so there won't be any problems should fraud occur. I do this religiously and feel more secure. (Don't know whether I am or not, but nothing has happened so far!)
As a CFO of a retail outfit, I see credit card fraud quite often and am not sure it is any worse in other countries than anywhere else. I could relate the fraudulent purchase by a supposed West African company using a card stolen from England that was authorized by the credit card company and then later denied costing us about $25,000. I've traveled all over and just keep aware of what is going on around me and I think that's the best you can do. I'd hate to carry too much cash, because that can't be replaced whereas fraudulent charges on my credit card bill can be deleted.
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Old 04-19-2006   #13 (permalink)
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I've never had a travelers check ripped off
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Old 04-19-2006   #14 (permalink)
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I had my credit card cloned at Cancun airport on my way back to England in July, its soooo frustrating. I know it was at the airport because that is the only time that i used that card at all in over a year. It took me 4 months to convince my bank that they were not my charges even though i sent them a copy of my passport to prove i had never been to Columbia (where the majority of money was spent) and further more my name is definately not Berjarand Augustin which was the signature on the sales receipts! However i've never had a problem at any of the ATM's in Playa. The fraud squad never caught my guy/girl which is probably the worst thing, knowing they got away with it
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Old 04-19-2006   #15 (permalink)
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Same thing happened to us last summer. We used our card the day we left at one of the Liquor and Drug stores on fifth and by the time we got home there were all kinds of fraudulent charges. Our bank had no problem eliminating them from our account after seeing our travel receipts. All the charges originated on the West Coast of Mexico while we were in the air.
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