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Another ATM skimming incident #304837
08/05/2023 08:49 AM
08/05/2023 08:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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If you use an ATM in SXM (and here in the US for that matter!!), please educate yourself as far as what to look for on the machine. This is two skimming incidents within a space of a month, that have been discovered on SXM. This could be really bad, if you are on island, and someone empties your bank account.


Carol Hill
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Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304844
08/05/2023 10:05 AM
08/05/2023 10:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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Wow, Carol. I deal with RBC here at home in Canada, so I have used the ATM at that RBC branch in Philipsburg, as recently as last February. For a major bank, a skimming incident is a bit unusual, but certainly not unheard of. Glad to hear that RBC has returned any funds and replaced the debit cards.

Your advice is excellent. Even when on island i automatically check my accounts daily, just as I do at home. I do know what to look for in detecting a fraudulent skimmer, but they are getting more sophisticated all the time. It is a little scary in any case, so thanks for that warning.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304845
08/05/2023 10:14 AM
08/05/2023 10:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 683
Albany, New York
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That's why I never use a debit card.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304847
08/05/2023 10:29 AM
08/05/2023 10:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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Certainly that's your choice, but I've been travelling internationally for over half a century with a debit card without any issues. Credit cards can also be hacked and cash can be stolen or taken by armed robbery, but both those likelihoods are just as rare as debit card skimming. Different strokes for different folks.

Last edited by CanuckTravlr; 08/05/2023 10:30 AM.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304850
08/05/2023 10:59 AM
08/05/2023 10:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,703
Auburn, WA
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Only cash or Credit Cards for me.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: SXMScubaman] #304851
08/05/2023 11:07 AM
08/05/2023 11:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,772
So. Shore MA.
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Bingo. Scammed once. Never again

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304852
08/05/2023 11:21 AM
08/05/2023 11:21 AM
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Albany, New York
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Credit cards don't provide direct access to your bank account.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304853
08/05/2023 11:27 AM
08/05/2023 11:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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So, a question for those voting for cash and CC. How do you get more cash out, if you need to when on the island? If you use your CC, it is treated like a cash advance and interest is charged. Your credit card is also then exposed to skimmers. So i really don't undrstand how it is safer.

There is one other factor at play here, which does not apply to any of you. I'm Canadian. I don't operate in USD on a normal basis. So I don't want to have an excess amount of US cash with me. If I need more I go to the ATM. I have a US dollar bank account and US VIsa card (in addition to my Canadian ones) with RBC's US affiliate. I use those when travelleing to places like the USA and St. Martin, where things are denominated in USD. I keep a limited amount of cash in the account, since I can easily transfer more from my Canadian accounts online with the push of a button. So my exposure to theft is limited, and RBC will indemnify me if it happens.

I don't use my debit card for making foreign purchases, only for accessing cash. Purchases are only CC or cash. So i don't understand the aversion to debit cards. Maybe it's a US banking thing for some reason? I'm also staying on the island for 3 to 5 weeks at a time, so maybe that makes a difference?

Last edited by CanuckTravlr; 08/05/2023 11:30 AM.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304854
08/05/2023 11:29 AM
08/05/2023 11:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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CanuckTravlr--We don't even own a debit card, as here in the US anyway, banks often do not replace funds taken via a debit card, versus a fraudulent charge on your credit card. Often, those are "inside situations". Now, if there is a skimming incident, I would assume, without knowing, that they would replace the funds.

This is just one more example of how, just because you're on vacation, doesn't mean that you shouldn't take precautions.


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304855
08/05/2023 11:33 AM
08/05/2023 11:33 AM
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Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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CanukTravlr--we NEVER get extra cash on island. We monitor our cash to make sure we have enough and charge most things. We always come home with cash.


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304856
08/05/2023 11:38 AM
08/05/2023 11:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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Ok, that helps explain it Carol. I am a retired financial professional and do have some experience in dealing with US banks at a non-personal level, as well as personal. I do know that the US banking industry is very fractured, since it is state regulated, unlike Canada and most European countries where is is regulated at the national level.

In my experience the US tends to be behind the curve, compared to its European and Canadian counterparts. We have required PINs for years, so that adds an additonal level of security that has only recently become more common in the US. Here in Canada, and in Europe as well, except at small merchants or for very small transactions, cash is rare, almost everything is either debit or CC. And yes, our regulations do provide more indemnification, so that obviously helps. Both CCs and debit cards are virtually the same in terms of protections.

Thanks for alerting me to some of the differences. It now makes more sense. And I only go to an ATM if I need MORE US cash. I never want to go home with US dollars any more than necessary, since I can't use them at home. It makes no sense to have them sitting there doing nothing until my next trip, IMO.

Last edited by CanuckTravlr; 08/05/2023 11:42 AM.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304858
08/05/2023 11:41 AM
08/05/2023 11:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Yes, for sure, many things are different here than our neighbors to the north!!

edit--CanuckTravlr --since you are an RBC customer, could you go into the bank there and cash a check?? Just curious.

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 08/05/2023 11:45 AM.

Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304859
08/05/2023 11:53 AM
08/05/2023 11:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,703
Auburn, WA
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We just take more cash in diffeeent denominations than we'll really need and put most on CC to get the miles. Just because you don't use all the cash you take doesn't mean it's gone. Just bring it back with you.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304860
08/05/2023 11:54 AM
08/05/2023 11:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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Probably, but I have no actual experience with that. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually wrote a physical cheque. Most payments like that here in Canada are done by either CC or online by electronic transfer (e-transfer). I don't know if the latter even exists in the US. On a side note, I did once years ago negotiate a cheque in pounds sterling from a relative in the UK, drawn on a UK bank, at the then RBC branch in Paris, while I was travelling. They did put me through a couple of additional hoops to verify my bona fides, but I did get the cash successfully.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: SXMScubaman] #304861
08/05/2023 12:01 PM
08/05/2023 12:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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@Scubaman, Yes I know it's not gone if I keep it for the next time, but it costs me a foreign exchange fee to buy the US dollars in the first place. So if I leave with cash from home for use on the island, I have to buy it. I can't pull it out in cash from my US bank account, unless I am outside the country. So, I try to estimate how much cash I will need, but sometimes it isn't enough and I have no choice but to use an ATM.

But it's also not gone, and is useable here at home, if I don't transfer it to USD in the first place. Just sayin'

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304864
08/05/2023 12:35 PM
08/05/2023 12:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Canuck--I write checks to the gal who cuts my hair and the gal that grooms my dogs! smile Sometimes I write checks to my vet too. I'm old! laugh


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304870
08/05/2023 01:32 PM
08/05/2023 01:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,679
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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I have an account with RBC on SXM. They no longer offer checks!!! Not sure if you can go in and cash one but we received notice that they no longer accept checks!!!! I write maybe 3 a year in the states and do most banking electronically or with credit card.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304872
08/05/2023 01:48 PM
08/05/2023 01:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,703
Auburn, WA
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I must be old too as we write and deposit checks all the time both personally and for my side business.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304876
08/05/2023 03:58 PM
08/05/2023 03:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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I'm not young, either, almost to the 3/4 century mark, but in Canada at least, cheques are now pretty rare. The banking systems, while similar, are quite different to the US, IME, and our online and clearing processes are also much faster and more integrated, even between different banks. I am surprised that RBC in Sint Maarten is no longer accepting cheques, certainly RBC in Canada still does! Anyway, this has gone a bit off topic, so I will let it rest there.

Last edited by CanuckTravlr; 08/05/2023 04:02 PM.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: SXMScubaman] #304877
08/05/2023 04:00 PM
08/05/2023 04:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Scuba--my clientele are mostly over 65, as my practice now is mostly an estate planning practice, but I would say at least half of my clients pay with checks.


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304878
08/05/2023 04:01 PM
08/05/2023 04:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Canuck--I don't agree that this has gone off track, talking about getting money on SXM...


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304880
08/05/2023 04:06 PM
08/05/2023 04:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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OK, thanks Carol. Because it had switched to a discussion to a great degree about the differences in US/Canadian banking, and not so specifically about processes in Sint Maarten, I was concerned about potentially hijacking the thread. But I guess you're right, it's still useful information for North American visitors.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304881
08/05/2023 04:15 PM
08/05/2023 04:15 PM
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Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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The thread just being here is good information and a warning to those who use ATMs in SXM.


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: CanuckTravlr] #304886
08/05/2023 09:03 PM
08/05/2023 09:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,142
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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The RBC banks on the island are not affiliated with the Royal Bank of Canada . RBC there stands for Royal Bank of Caribbean and are very different banks. I am a Royal Bank customer in Canada too and I was informed of this from my bank.




Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: islandgem] #304887
08/05/2023 10:00 PM
08/05/2023 10:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,637
United States of America
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RBC in SXM is the Royal Bank of Canada and became so in June 2008 when RBC acquired RBTT Financial. The new organization became RBC Financial Caribbean, wholly owned by RBC.


Be Happy! Simply because you deserve to be. 😁
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: islandgem] #304888
08/06/2023 12:09 AM
08/06/2023 12:09 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 246
Toronto, Canada
CanuckTravlr Offline
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@bdeeley is correct. And IME most RBC employees are unfamiliar and poorly informed concerning the foreign operations of the parent bank. They just can't see them on their branch network, so assume they are not the same. RBC US and RBC Financial Caribbean are separate incorporated banks, different from the domestic operatoins in Canada, for legal and regulatory reasons. They do not share branch operations, so yes, they are not the "same" bank, but they do work with clients of other RBC banks on a preferred basis.

When I pull money out of an RBC ATM in Sint Maarten, I am charged a witthdrawal fee, unlike here at home. But ulitmately, as @bdeeley says, they are all subsidiares of the parent bank. I was able to park in the parking lot at the branch in Philipsburg, reserved for RBC customers, by simply showing them my domestic RBC Client Card, so there is some recognition.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304890
08/06/2023 06:40 AM
08/06/2023 06:40 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 423
Beverly MA (Boston's North Sho...
timnboston Online content
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For what it's worth - I bring plenty of cash (I find that it's generally widely accepted - lol) but leave it in my unit's safe. I only take out whatever I've budgeted for that day, so I never risk a major loss. It also keeps me on "on budget". On those rare occasions when I've needed more cash, I go into the bank with my ATM card and plead elderly stupid tourist (not always an act) - a bank employee is always willing to be most helpful.

Last edited by timnboston; 08/06/2023 06:41 AM.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: timnboston] #304892
08/06/2023 08:25 AM
08/06/2023 08:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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tim--we also leave all of our cash in the safe in the room, except for what we need for that day. But not to ask a stupid question, but do banks in SXM have an ATM inside the bank? If not, how does a bank employee get you money?


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: kim] #304894
08/06/2023 08:44 AM
08/06/2023 08:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,575
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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No banks here (Dutch side) will accept checks anymore. Probably been a year. They want everyone to go digital, jerks.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304895
08/06/2023 08:58 AM
08/06/2023 08:58 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 423
Beverly MA (Boston's North Sho...
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They will come outside with me to help - it is the friendly island!

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: timnboston] #304896
08/06/2023 09:04 AM
08/06/2023 09:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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tim--OK, but if there is a skimmer on the ATM, then it doesn't matter if you work the ATM or they do?


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: BillandElaine] #304897
08/06/2023 09:05 AM
08/06/2023 09:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Elaine--OK, guess that wouldn't work then.


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304899
08/06/2023 09:49 AM
08/06/2023 09:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,085
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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Maybe I'm in the minority but I never carry a lot of cash with me....anywhere. I bring maybe $300 with me and the rest is on a CC. If I do need cash for a non-CC accepting place I use my no fee Schwab Debit card in a place with a decent amout of people around the ATM...like inside a Carrefour or similar. My card maxes out at $500/day withdrawals...no clue how someone got $4000 from one account in one day

There are a lot of free standing ATM's in the world in some not too secure places. I find it interesting that the article does not mention where the machine (s) are located

I have used ATM's in MANY countries and am always choose the location carefully but it all comes down to doing what you feel most comfortable with, Hotel/resort sales are pretty secure but not 100%

Hotel safe link


Last edited by boucharda; 08/06/2023 09:51 AM.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: boucharda] #304900
08/06/2023 10:50 AM
08/06/2023 10:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 867
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Southshore Offline
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Regarding the question of how someone could get $4000.00 in one day.... It depends in what the daily withdrawal limit is on the card. You can have a limit in the thousand's per day, at least here in Canada you can. Also, the limit resets at midnight. So you can withdraw the limit at 11:55 p.m., wait a few minutes until the calendar ticks over and pull out the limit again.

Curious about Canuck Travlrs comment about paying foreign exchange fees for purchasing US dollars. Are you referring to the exchange rate or are you paying an an additional fee on top of that for the purchase? I am a retiree from one of the Big Five Canadian banks and do not pay any additional fees for the purchase of US cash, just the exchange rate, which, for staff and retirees, is lower than the rate to the public. I have never paid any bank fees, ever, either as a working staff member or as a retiree.

Also, I think I have mentioned this before re getting US cash in Canada - the exchange rate is usually lower if you withdraw US cash at an ATM that provides that service. The rate is reduced due to the fact that counter staff don't have to handle the transaction.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304903
08/06/2023 11:19 AM
08/06/2023 11:19 AM
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Posts: 13,414
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
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I haven't read every post here, so please forgive me if I repeat something that's already been said. I'm a retired banker, with over 30 years of experience in regulatory compliance. There's a big difference between what the bank is required to do with suspected debit card fraud and credit card fraud. Also, even though you might use the same card to withdraw money from an ATM as you do to debit your account to purchase something at a store, the regulations are different. Yes, skimming is always a risk, but the bank is required by regulation to provisionally restore any funds that you claim have been withdrawn from an ATM without your authorization. Not so if you use your card as a debit card to purchase something. Also, please know that I'm speaking of REQUIREMENTS, and those for US banks. Some banks may do more than is required. The law REQUIRES credit card companies provisionally set aside any charge that's disputed as fraudulent, unless or until it's proven otherwise.

I've NEVER used a debit card, and only use an ATM card in a true emergency. I've seen too many instances of people having all of their money taken, and it taking months to prove the fraud and have the funds restored. We take much more cash than we need on trips, and keep it in the safe. We take with us what we think we'll need for the day, and use credit cards for every transaction where that's allowed.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: GaKaye] #304904
08/06/2023 11:49 AM
08/06/2023 11:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,689
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Georgia--thanks for the bankers point of view.


Carol Hill
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: GaKaye] #304905
08/06/2023 11:50 AM
08/06/2023 11:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,703
Auburn, WA
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"We take much more cash than we need on trips, and keep it in the safe. We take with us what we think we'll need for the day, and use credit cards for every transaction where that's allowed."
Same here.

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: Carol_Hill] #304906
08/06/2023 11:58 AM
08/06/2023 11:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,085
Massachusetts
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Not to prolong the great points made here but when I mentioned using my Schwab debit card I meant my ATM card and only for getting cash. CC or cash for everything else....I never use a debit card for purchases (no points ) smile

Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: GaKaye] #304907
08/06/2023 12:15 PM
08/06/2023 12:15 PM
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Posts: 17,515
Ohio
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Georgia, Thanks for the input. I am with you on the Debit Card viewpoint. I don't have one, don't want one and would not use one.

I have only used an ATM a very few times here at home, not a fan of them at all.

Same with the cash situation. Take plenty, leave what you don't need that day or night in the safe. I somewhat learned the hard way. I either lost or had my wallet stolen at a restaurant several years ago (on the island) so I was out credit cards, license, etc. but did not have all my cash in it, but I had more than I would carry now.

When we dine out, often one person will charge for the group and then the others pay them back later in cash.


J.D.
Re: Another ATM skimming incident [Re: ruralcarrier] #304910
08/06/2023 02:16 PM
08/06/2023 02:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,703
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,703
Auburn, WA
I'm more than happy to pay for the group with my CC as i get the miles.

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