Monday, January 31, 2011

Ripped off!

While enjoying the culture of Oaxaca and relaxing on the beach here In Punto Arista some low life in Tijuana was syphoning our current account of nearly 50,000 pesos that about £3000. How it actually happened I'm not sure, but we have met others that it has also happened too. I haven't lost my card and am always very careful to protect my PIN when drawing money out of ATM's but somehow my card number and PIN have been read from an ATM machine by someone other than the bank. I was told that you couldn't draw out more than £300 a day but the low life was drawing out, on some days, over £800. It has all been reported and my card has been cancelled and a full fraud investigation will ensue and hopefully we will get the money back when they have finished the investigation. Luckily for us we are 2000 miles away from Tijuana so it couldn't have been us which seems to be the main part of the fraud investigation.

So before you all start sending us money, let me say that we are not destitute, and although this is very unpleasant, isn't the end of the world or our trip.

Two things I have learned so far from this experience.
1. Make sure you have 2 cards on any account you use with different PINs. In our case Jill has a card so although mine has been stopped we can still draw out money on Jill's card. If you don't have access to your account because you card has been stopped you can't get any money out of ATM's, which could make things very difficult.
2. Make sure the bank doesn't give you a large overdraft facility. I manage our account on line and transfer money from a savings account when needed. We had about £1000 in the account as a direct debit for our credit card was due. Little did I know that we had been given a £2500 overdraft facility which enable so much money to be drawn out.
Apart from that life has been very relaxing in our Cabaña by the roaring ocean. We are off today (Monday 31/1/11) towards Guatamala to take up our 2 weeks of intensive Spanish lessons. Pimsleur in the hammock is going well I can now say 'Hola soy la señorita Gomes, no hablo español pero entiendo un poco' . Might be useful sometime!
Bye for now.


  1. oh no. Guessing this is something to do with being abroad, not anyone in the UK. Its funny the only time I have ever had any problems with cards and money has been in mexico and in America where I was dealing with Mexican people in US. I know you arent destitute but its still unsettling and when you are travelling its difficult to stay in touch with the people sorting it out.

  2. well that is really bad news and I would be seriously Pissed Off and want some revenge on the culprits but I know that isn't possible. this is one thing that concerns me when we are travelling, so will make sure I only use secure internet access. Maybe it was an internet cafe that the details were recorded in as you never know what is going on inside there PC's.
    good luck and enjoy the Spanish lessons.

  3. What a lousy thing to happen ! Lots of sympathy from us both, and looks like your spirits remain undaunted.
    Hope you enjoy Guatemala;based on my trip there I'd suggest avoiding G. City as much as you can, but heartily recommend Antigua G. and Chichicastenango. And if you want really good Mayan sites , hop over the border into Honduras and see Copan.
    I cannot remember where you fly from to avoid the missing Panamanian bit of H1, but if Costa Rica is on your itinerary, having just returned from there,I think you'll find that a good place to be.
    Hope you can soon leave the bad stuff behind.
    As they say in C.R. "Pura vida !"