Debit Card Fraud!

 Every few days I go online and check our bank transactions.  This morning when I looked there were three ATM withdrawals made in CULIACAN, MEXICO of over $400 each!   Supposedly the third transaction of $412 was denied which makes our total claim less than $1000, therefore the bank will credit our account tonight.  If that third transaction somehow goes through then we will need to complete a claim form.  After note:  The third transaction also went through but the bank didn’t have us complete a claim form.  A credit was posted immediately in addition to the ATM fees.  I have to say that Chase Bank was very prompt and efficient with getting us all our money back within 3 days.

 I asked the bank how this happened when we are supposed to notify them if we go out of the country in order to be able to even use the card.  They didn’t know how this “slipped through”.  But the representative stated that Steve’s debit card information could have been obtained by a skimmer at a gas station.  We have definitely narrowed this fraud down to one of two gas stations as we had had no other activity on this particular account in a few weeks.  One was in Moab and the other in Blanding, Utah. This would have been a nightmare to deal with if we had been out of the country.

I have since read that there are big problems with skimming debit card information at gas stations in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.  There are little devices that are either attached right above the PIN pad that look like a long skinny bar or to the slot that you put the card in.  There’s a tiny pinhole in the skimming device that records video of a person entering the PIN number.  The debit card information is electronically relayed to the crook’s laptop who is sitting in a vehicle nearby.  Utah has employed inspectors just to go around and look at gas station pumps for the devices.

We’ve added alerts to every checking account and card if anything over $1 dollar transpires, we’ll receive an email.  Also we will never again use a PIN anywhere unless it’s a grocery store to get cash back.


  1. WOW THAT IS ONE REASON I (oops) cover my finger with my hands when I put my number in. So glad you caught it quickly.


  2. Sue, We've since learned to never use our debit card with a PIN number unless we have to (such as getting cash back at a grocery store). Otherwise, we always select the Credit instead of Debit, option. I might be wrong, but I think the skimmers that crooks mount at the machines somehow record the PIN number electronically so covering up the keypad wouldn't help.


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