Citibank Apparently Hasn’t Heard About ATM Skimmers In Mexican Tourist Destination

Reader J. had what we’re sure was a wonderful vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last November, and used his Citibank ATM card to withdraw cash as needed. When he returned home, he noticed multiple withdrawals on some days, and the “extra” transactions were for amounts much larger than what he remembered taking out. J. says that Citibank wouldn’t reverse the transactions, since the card never left his possession.

Here’s the problem: your debit card doesn’t need to be physically stolen for theft or ATM fraud to occur. It was just a few months ago that we shared images of an actual skimmer in place on an ATM in Puerto Vallarta, a popular destination for tourists from up north and our magnetic-stripe, easy-to-clone ATM cards. It’s possible that this is the very ATM that J. used to withdraw pesos on vacation.

J. is a Consumerist reader, but originally wrote to us before our post about the ATM in Puerto Vallarta. He was able to find information about the increase in skimmer fraud in Mexico through some idle Googling. Wasn’t this information also available to Citi’s fraud department?

We referred J. to a member of Citibank’s social media team, who was able to help and refunded one of the disputed transactions: the other happened at an ATM that J. had used for his own non-fraudulent transactions. “Having already spent way too much time dealing with this, I’m probably going to write this off and put it past me,” he wrote to Consumerist in an update.