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