Last week while waiting for my flight to Miami during My 12 Hour Travel Nightmare in the Dominican Republic, I received an e-mail notification from Bank of America that my ATM debit card was just used to withdraw $226.50. The ATM withdraw came from the Bank of Nova SC in the Dominican Republic and I thought that was strange because I was at Puerto Plata International Airport (POP) waiting for my flight. At this point, I realized that my debit card was fraudulently used in the Dominican Republic.
A minute later, I received a second e-mail from Bank of America stating that there was Unusual Debit Card Activity.
I also received a text message from Bank of America which I found out they tried to withdraw the same amount of $226.50 a second time which Bank of America automatically declined. I responded to the Bank of America text with a “NO” since I did not authorize the fraudulent ATM transactions and they blocked my card.
I immediately notified Bank of America to send me a new replacement ATM card and I filed a claim with the fraud prevention team for an investigation.
ATM bank fraud is a huge hassle for tourists and it always seems to happen to me when traveling to Latin American countries. A few years ago my card was cloned in Brazil and I wrote about How To Deal With Debit And Credit Card Fraud Alerts While Traveling Overseas.
At this point, I was dumbfounded since I never once took out my Bank of America ATM Debit card from my wallet. I changed US Dollars to Dominican pesos in Cabarete and never used the ATM machine to withdraw money. Furthermore, I never used my debit card for my car rental or hotels and I’m still shocked on how my card was cloned and used fraudulently.
The only thing I can think of is that someone from housekeeping or hotel staff came into my room when I went out to the beach and copied down the numbers or swiped the card for ATM cloning purposes. Other than that, the card was with me the entire 3 days in the Dominican Republic. Til this day, it still remains a mystery on how fraudsters got ahold of my ATM card and managed to steal money from my bank account.
Have you ever had your ATM Card compromised in a foreign country?