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.