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More photos of the bank ATM scam

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by DandyDon, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    48,891
    4,620
    113
    I have always avoided the free standing ATMs not bank affiliated after reading horror stories as well as warned others. I guess the only machine I have used is the one at HCSB by the downtown plaza, but I've suffered from confusion and intimidation there. My first time, I just wanted 50 bucks worth, so tried asking for that and got 50 Pesos, back when the going rate was 10 Pesos to the dollar. I did it over for 500 Pesos. A couple of other times I'd failed to tell my bank I was going to use my Debit card in Mexico, and the machine quickly ate it. I've since heard that one can go into the bank the next day to request return, and my face is on mine, so I'll keep that in mine if I screw up again.

    This Conversion Rate Scam is new to me, even tho not new in the world wide industry, and I am glad I read warnings here. I took photos of some screens today, but they came out bad with the lighting, so went back tonight for better shots. I won't post them all here, but just show the ones I think relevant.

    Unlike most signs I've seen in Mexico, there are English translations on many of the terms, so watch for those. Early in the string of screens, one will ask if you want Local Currency or American Dollars. I was there for Pesos.

    IMG_1987.JPG

    Later in the sequence, you'll be asked to donate to something. I don't know anything about the cause or how much of a donation they receive. Your call.

    IMG_1992.JPG

    Later in the sequence it'll ask you to approve the fee. If you decline this, the transaction fails; I tried. Accept it.

    IMG_1993.JPG

    Then the scam! You're asked to approve a low conversion of about 18.5 to the dollar, before fees. The Decline button you want is on the lower left. Then your stack of bills should appear. My net rate with Wells Fargo was 19.27, after fees. WF has a crappy program offering no fee Pesos at your local bank or Fedexed to your home, but it's at a poor rate. This was alright. My receipt shows that HCSB got 55 Pesos plus tax = 63.80. I don't know what that 5.5% or 165.66 entry is about; maybe it's part of the scam I rejected.

    IMG_1994.JPG

    Before you go in the little room for the ATM, there is a sign that seems to forbid caps and glasses, but I think that applies only to the inside bank when open. Ignore the fat tourist in the reflection.

    IMG_1991.JPG
     
  2. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    9,978
    3,311
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    That's not so for the red one in the Palacio Municipale (Santander? Banorte?). One thing that machine does is give you the cash and receipt, and then 10 seconds or so later spits out your card. That's plenty of time to stash the cash and walk away, which is what I did. After a short time it sucks the card back in and shreds it. It took me a couple of hours of calling banks, getting help with Spanish, etc. to find it out, but at least with that machine, when it eats your card it chews it up as well.
     
    couv likes this.
  3. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    48,891
    4,620
    113
    Gordy, regardless of what you were told, I doubt that machine has a card shedder. It may well since you’re not getting it back, but I bet it’s destroyed later.

    That happened to me once back home. Now I use a bank that requires I retrieve the card before it will finish the last transaction.
     
  4. mediumone

    mediumone Manta Ray

    918
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    This last April the commission from the Santander at MEGA was $26.00 and IVA $4.16 on both $6,000 and $8,000 withdrawals.

    Edit to add: Thank you DandyDon for the pics.
     
    DandyDon likes this.
  5. ReadyDiverOne

    ReadyDiverOne Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Central
    263
    103
    43
    Thanks, Don, very helpful. And yes, when the banks in Europe started doing this back in 2009 or so (I think) people quickly realized it was a scam and to always reject the proffered exchange and go with one's own bank's rate (since that rate is based on the inter-bank rates and is always better). Thanks again.
     
    Lorenzoid and DandyDon like this.
  6. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    9,978
    3,311
    113
    I have no way of knowing, but two bank officials told me (my interpreter, actually) the same thing - the machine shreds the card when no one takes it at the end of the transaction. It really makes no difference; it was irretrievable in any case. I started trying to get the card back immediately after I discovered my mistake, but there was no way.
     
  7. Prop Joe

    Prop Joe Photographer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NW suburb of Chicago, Illinois USA
    922
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    Great Post! Thanks DD.
    I think this is the atm across from Wet Wendys? I used to like the one on the corner near Sedana, but that was broken the last couple of times I walked past.
     
  8. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
    400
    278
    63
    I get this all the time when travelling in the US. Merchant credit card machines helpfully offer to convert my purchase to Canadian dollars at exorbitant rates.

    Worst offenders are rental car companies where it is very hard to decline as instead of just grabbing the receipt from the attendant when you return the car you have to walk to the counter and wait in line.
     
    DandyDon likes this.
  9. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    48,891
    4,620
    113
    No, south of the plaza. Same block as Suites Colonial & Mary Carmen.
     
  10. Jay

    Jay Need to dive more!

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Melbourne, OZ.
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    Depending on which country you're travelling to it's can be reasonably standard depending on the bank or service provider.

    To check out actual interbank fx rates this website is quite good XE - The World's Trusted Currency Authority: Money Transfers & Free Exchange Rate Tools

    One bank here does give you actual interbank fx rates and rebates all other charges.

    This ripoff isn't just confined to ATM (Cash) machines. Here's a couple of HK bills. On the LHS showing a more 'reasonable' ripoff of only 1.95%, the other showing a 10.5% ripoff (the maximum ripoff permitted). The text and presentation of the RHS one is purposefully misleading hoping you tick the RHS box (red arrow) and entering an AUD amount as opposed to HKD.

    This so called Dynamic Currency Conversion charge used to have some place in history when fx transactions weren't live/instantaneous and bank fx rates were uncompetitive. Now it's just a rort.

    Here's a couple of link re DCC Visa to allow dynamic currency conversion at ATMs worldwide

    and Dynamic currency conversion - Wikipedia

    Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.11.34 am.png
     
    dflaher and DandyDon like this.

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