If you’ve ever found yourself trying to get money from an ATM that doesn’t want to display its menus in English, you know it can be aggravating. But imagine what it must be like for someone with no understanding of any written language. Now there are new ATMs being created for use in developing regions with lower literacy rates.
An ATM repairman who is suspected of trafficking in counterfeit money stands accused of using ATMs as, well, ATMs for his criminal purposes. Authorities say the man swapped out $200,000 of genuine cash in exchange for his faux green.
In a twist to the usual ATM skimmer scam, there’s a new report from Krebs on Security about crooks who put the skimmer inside the bank door-lock. When you swipe your card to get inside, they grab your digits. A camera hidden behind a mirror above the ATM and pointed down at the keypad records your PIN code when you punch it in.
Reader Paul was trying to enjoy fried pop tarts at an outdoor city festival in his hometown when his debit card was nearly stolen by a fake ATM. Someone had modified an arcade cabinet and placed it outside a bank where it had captured the overflow traffic spilling out of the bank lobby.
PayPal exists to make money, not to help you. That’s why the unregulated money broker likes to ensure that when you pay with a linked account, you pay via the ATM debit card setting, because it’s cheaper for PayPal. Of course, that “savings” is sometimes deducted from you in the form of a transaction fee by your bank, but PayPal doesn’t care. If you want to change that payment method the next time you use PayPal, be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops.
Meet Matt. He’s is the writer of the most reasonable, calm, thoughtful letter we’ve ever gotten from someone whose bank misplaced a check for $14,000. That bank is Bank of America, and they’ve lost a customer. Was it because their ATM ate the check? Not really. It was because they couldn’t even bother to act concerned about it. Matt is ready for a bank that thinks $14,000 is important.
Chase has these fancy new ATMs that take checks without envelopes. It scans the check and blah, blah, robots, science, a better tomorrow. The interesting thing about them is that reader Angela says that when the ATM makes an error, Chase mails the check back to you so that you, the customer, can take it to a branch bank and show it to a human being. Apparently, even though Chase already has the check in its possession — it cannot find a human being to read a check.
Just when you thought that you and your ATM card data were safe from criminal eyes, Scientific American brings a different sort of threat. This time, the skimmers are inside the machine. Malware within the ATM itself harvests enough data to do some very bad things.
Four Romanian nationals in Florida have been charged in a series of ATM skimmer frauds that targeted banks in New York City, Cicero (near Syracuse), NY, and Rochester, NY. They are charged with, among other things, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. According to the Syracuse office of the Secret Service, they stole $1.8 million overall.
Video game maker Capcom has partnered with Visa to offer a pre-paid debit card with so many fees that it will shrink your wallet from an E. Honda to a Dhalsim. The hurricane kick of fees, inside.
Why pay people for your own money? Via FatWallet, here’s a big daddy list of all the banks that refund your ATM fees, regardless of who owns the ATM.
With all the concern about unemployed Wall Street sloggers and whether they’ll be able to keep up their leveraged lifestyle, or even get an apartment, this ATM receipt a reader’s coworker found sitting in a Wall Street ATM with a balance of $97,084.23 shows there’s at least one person who is going to be okay. Plus, this guy knows what he’s doing; note how the balance is just under the $100,000 limit for full FDIC coverage.
Reader Drew went out of his way to ensure that he’d be able to get money from ATMs (using his Bank of America card), while on vacation. Despite his best efforts, he learned that a) putting a note on your account saying that you’ll be in England and b) drawing less than the maximum daily amount from your account is still not enough to keep BoA from putting a hold on your account. He’s written in with some advice for other Bank of America customers who are planning on traveling soon…
If you’re the type of person who never uses your ATM card—and we really mean never in this case, you might want to call your bank to find out if there’s a minimum activity threshold to hit to keep it from being deactivated. A reader tried to use her Bank of America ATM card recently and kept getting an “invalid transaction” error at every ATM. She called the number on the back of the card to ask what was going on: “I was told that since I hadn’t used my card in a couple of years it was closed, even though the expiration date is several years in the future, and I hadn’t received any note that suggested I should cut the card up into tiny pieces.”