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Old 10-10-2009, 07:28   #16
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So far in the Caribbean Basin countries ATM's rival T-Shirt shops in the quantity available. You do have to be careful about which brand of ATM (bank) you use. That information is easily available from other cruisers in the area. Also get up to date on the ATM scam/stealing techniques in use by googling "ATM scams". Defenses are real simple.
- Basically never use the card you intend to use in the ATM machine to open the door to the ATM cubicle. Use any other magnetic stripe card.
- Search for the security cameras mounted in the ceiling or on the walls. If one is different then it is probably a scammer's camera to get your PIN.
- Examine the ATM machine for glue-on cameras and also for "flyer bins" attached to the inside of the ATM that could contain a camera to view you PIN.
- Examine the ATM card entry slot for thin film card capture loop (Lebanese Loop) or a plastic cover enclosing the card slot. Inside the false front is a card reader.
- And always use shoulders, body, and hands to cover the keyboard from view. That takes a little doing as you cannot see the keys either. If your card is captured go inside the bank to get assistance - never accept help from bystanders.
- Use a card from a bank that lets you view your Credit and ATM transactions via the internet. If something pops up let the bank know immediately. This is a bitch as the bank can only "cancel" your card to stop the "raid on your accounts." Then you have to arrange for a new card which takes weeks or longer to get to you.
- Being defensive and cautious first avoids that problem and is well worth the minute or two it takes to examine the ATM and use care to avoid your PIN being seen.
- The thieves need two things: your information from the magnetic stripe and your PIN. If you can prevent them from getting one or the other, they cannot access your accounts.
- Here is a link to one of the scams: ATM Scam

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:33   #17
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- -
- - But they are walking a dangerous tightrope if the country - whose waters they are anchored in - have competing services. It puts the cruiser in direct competition with the local citizen/business. Iif discovered by the locals it might result in penalties ranging from being asked to just leave to legal deportation. So they need to pick and choose where and when they offer such services very carefully.
I'd think you have to be very street wise, as my friend Kevin undoubtedly is. He tells me that he adds 10% of the cost of materials, so if you need his services and you happen to meet him, please help him on his way

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:18   #18
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In the UK the Nationwide building society runs a flex account which allows commission free and rasonable rate withdrawls from ATM in most (not all) European countries. We use this a lot. However, the interest rate is poor so we only put money in that account when we need it. We absolutely rely on internet banking for various accounts (none of which have that much in, but it means our eggs are scattered about a bit.) For large foreign currency bills (eg the 6 months we are now berthed in Rome) we pay via NZforex doing all the necessary contacts on line. This is cheaper for larger transactions, though it took a bit of setting up.

A key issue is the identification needed to create bank accounts these days - in the UK it's now a nightmare. If you will not have an address, or no address with utility bills/mortgage etc, then try to get all this set up before you go.

We have never bothered with any attorney powers for the purposes of managing money - the internet has made this unecessary.
Sarah & Pip
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:36   #19
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I second that, also by using my debit card I accumulated enough travel points to pay for round trip airfares to the US.
I put a hold on my credit card and had to call the US company before I could use it. I felt it was safer.
On the subject of a power of attorney. I had my sister and her husband legally declared the executor of my living will, then I created a trust account where I put all my savings plus the deposits from Social Security, which I used via the debit card.
Any documents needing my signature was either scaned and sent via email or Fed-exed. Routing numbers for funds transfers were identified and used from as far away as South Africa.

By using their address in Washington state as my residence, I enjoyed that state's practice of not having to pay a State Income tax.
The whole thing worked for me.

regards John A
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:17   #20
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I would have been very surprised if there had been any problems in the prime tourism areas (other than scams of course),

However, what about when you get further out, and off the normal cruise liner routes - Easter Island, pitcairn or the other mid-pacific polynesian islands?
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
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Old 10-10-2009, 13:46   #21
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In addition to what has been posted above, it is extremly useful in some locations to just have a good chink of US dollars, sometimes there are black market rates where you can get up to almost three times the governemnt (bank/atm) rate, and it makes life much less expensive. Two such places that come to mind, Seychelles and Venezuala.

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