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Thread: Compromised Debit Card

  1. #1

    Default Compromised Debit Card

    My PayPal debit card was compromised during my last trip. Luckily, I get an immediate email when the card is charged. It was a merchant in Turkey, who made three charges, one of 521.69; one of 782.53; and one of 1013.19, all within a matter of a few minutes. At that point PayPal's software stepped in and blocked charges from that particular merchant. The charges were timestamped 8AM PST so they were actually made very early in the morning.

    I caught the charges (saw the emails), called PayPal, and they removed the charges. The card was swiped, so that means that someone in Nicaragua or CR captured the information, including the number on the back, and made it available to the thief. Someone then created a card, not a big deal at all.

    A minor inconvenience since I'm currently in the US, and a new card is already on its way to me. A pain in the butt if I were in Nicaragua, since I would have to have the new card sent to me. I don't know if I would trust the Nicaraguan Correos (and Aduana gets a shot too),, for this, and I don't believe Fed Ex delivers to my area. I would have to go to Managua (by the airport) to get the envelope with the new card.

    Some lessons: If you don't have a debit card that automatically emails you when it's used, perhaps it's time to get one that does. Most have that option now. Otherwise you don't know that that particular account is drained until you attempt to use the card.

    If you have a debit card from a Nica bank, investigate whether they offer any account protection in a situation like this. If they don't, your Nicaragua bank account could easily be cleaned out, quickly, with little or no recourse. I believe this topic has come up before, and I believe that Nicaraguan bank issued debit and credit cards indeed offer little consumer protection.

    I used this particular card from Arizona to Nicaragua to buy gas on my last trip (and I bought a LOT of diesel). Just about every gas station accepts debit cards now, and the exchange rate is the best available. It costs me nothing to use the card, and it saves carrying wads of different currencies, and changing currencies back and forth as I cross borders.

    Pic attached is ...north of Acapulco . .I think I hit the cow that night . .Sleeping baby . .. if I hadn't been taking all those pics of the people, that woman's husband might not have led us back to the road. It was a long way back. We had just come to a point where (following the GPS) we had to cross a riverbed to continue on. Not that I wasn't up for it , , , , We were really turned around,; we might still be there, ......,,..., and finally, you can see the 10K+ elevation on the GPS as I left Mexico City.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Active TRN Member
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    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    A few years ago I had a replacement credit card fedexed to me here and there were no problems with the aduaneros. The card won't work until you authenticate it so no one can do anything with it if they steal it before you receive it.

  3. #3
    TRN Member
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    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    If you have a debit card from a Nica bank, investigate whether they offer any account protection in a situation like this. If they don't, your Nicaragua bank account could easily be cleaned out, quickly, with little or no recourse. I believe this topic has come up before, and I believe that Nicaraguan bank issued debit and credit cards indeed offer little consumer protection.
    That poster was probably me and It did happen to a friend exactly as you described - VISA debit card from BDF - about $7,000 if I remember. Maybe VISA has changed their policy - NECESSARY to check first.

    Off Topic:
    I did find a good very good use for a Nica bank debit card - Open a 2nd Paypal account with your Nica card & Nica address here. Then buying online to ship here is easy - No billing and Paypal home address in the states and convincing merchants to ship to an address in Nicaragua. (Paypal in the states will not let you change to a an out of country shipping address at checkout).
    Secure - No card involved - You log into Paypal (with a secure password) & HTTPS - Just don't use Paypal where there may be a keylogger installed on the computer like at a cyber.

    Paypal notes:
    1) To be legal with Paypal - Only 1 premium account allowed - You need to change your US account to a merchant account - Takes a few minutes.
    Still receive money from friends etc with no fees so no problem.
    2) The only use allowed for the Nica Paypal is to spend money from your debit card bank account - You can not receive payment for anything including gifts from friends.

    I buy from several merchants in China and ship here all the time - Online forum posts over the years weed out any unreliable ones and several are more solid and better customer service than some US online sites. Some like Amazon with customer product ratings.
    Most include Correos free shipping to Nicaragua built into the price but still usually much less than you pay in the states. The Ebay Hong Kong sales guys use these guys to drop ship & add their cut so you save that. Takes an average of less than 1 week to ship and 4 weeks to Nicaragua.
    The Chinese sales reps and online help chat people speak English as well as we do so that is a pleasure.
    They are bad with numbers though - Some ask you to add the total order amount yourself for them to put on the declared value sticker and some just guess - Small box $6, medium $9, big box with $400 worth of Laser printer toner cartridges and drums - $19. Much of the time Aduana does not bother to tax you and after you receive the box there is no way to do the right thing.
    One frequent poster here & Forum #2 has pointed out that this is immoral, illegal, and not fair to Nicaragua - Typical of North Americans that come here only to to exploit and corrupt the people. Expect her to weigh in.

    Anybody here full time without a mule to bring stuff for you post & I will reply with some of the good Chines merchants and examples - one even waits to bill you until you report back that you have received the stuff & are satisfied. Hard to "Buy American" anymore - This just cuts out most US "middleman" stores that sell Chinese stuff.

  4. #4
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
    I buy from several merchants in China and ship here all the time - Online forum posts over the years weed out any unreliable ones and several are more solid and better customer service than some US online sites.

    .

    Dealextreme works for this method?
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  5. #5

    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
    That poster was probably me and It did happen to a friend exactly as you described - VISA debit card from BDF - about $7,000 if I remember. Maybe VISA has changed their policy - NECESSARY to check first.

    Off Topic:
    I did find a good very good use for a Nica bank debit card - Open a 2nd Paypal account with your Nica card & Nica address here. Then buying online to ship here is easy - No billing and Paypal home address in the states and convincing merchants to ship to an address in Nicaragua. (Paypal in the states will not let you change to a an out of country shipping address at checkout).
    Secure - No card involved - You log into Paypal (with a secure password) & HTTPS - Just don't use Paypal where there may be a keylogger installed on the computer like at a cyber.

    Paypal notes:
    1) To be legal with Paypal - Only 1 premium account allowed - You need to change your US account to a merchant account - Takes a few minutes.
    Still receive money from friends etc with no fees so no problem.
    2) The only use allowed for the Nica Paypal is to spend money from your debit card bank account - You can not receive payment for anything including gifts from friends.

    I buy from several merchants in China and ship here all the time - Online forum posts over the years weed out any unreliable ones and several are more solid and better customer service than some US online sites. Some like Amazon with customer product ratings.
    Most include Correos free shipping to Nicaragua built into the price but still usually much less than you pay in the states. The Ebay Hong Kong sales guys use these guys to drop ship & add their cut so you save that. Takes an average of less than 1 week to ship and 4 weeks to Nicaragua.
    The Chinese sales reps and online help chat people speak English as well as we do so that is a pleasure.
    They are bad with numbers though - Some ask you to add the total order amount yourself for them to put on the declared value sticker and some just guess - Small box $6, medium $9, big box with $400 worth of Laser printer toner cartridges and drums - $19. Much of the time Aduana does not bother to tax you and after you receive the box there is no way to do the right thing.
    One frequent poster here & Forum #2 has pointed out that this is immoral, illegal, and not fair to Nicaragua - Typical of North Americans that come here only to to exploit and corrupt the people. Expect her to weigh in.

    Anybody here full time without a mule to bring stuff for you post & I will reply with some of the good Chines merchants and examples - one even waits to bill you until you report back that you have received the stuff & are satisfied. Hard to "Buy American" anymore - This just cuts out most US "middleman" stores that sell Chinese stuff.
    How about big stuff, have you tried that? I need a heavy duty cement mixer right now. Could I order that through one of your contacts for delivery to Nicaragua?

    I'm going to try "suitcasing" through CR when I return week after next. I have a lot of medical stuff for donation and I worry about losing it at MGA. People depend on me.

    Once it's in my car (which is already in CR) I think I'll be OK. I was planning on stopping by and chatting with you . . . .

    Note the PriceMart donuts on the corner of the desk . . .
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Dealextreme works for this method?
    Yes - My favorite for simple stuff.
    Lots of useful junk and customer reviews that seem to be mostly real because they point out the "cons"
    A few Examples shipped free to Nicaragua:
    10 pack Button Batteries for your electrical gadgets - all the common sizes - under $2
    http://dx.com/p/body-temperature-the...-32-42-c-24072
    Use this everywhere - Kitchen, parts count, shipping weight: http://dx.com/p/1-7-lcd-digital-kitc...solution-29183
    http://dx.com/p/60ft-ultrasonic-tape...r-pointer-2153
    http://dx.com/p/digital-infrared-the...-f-716-f-29079
    Cheap cat burglar detection: http://dx.com/p/wire-loop-anti-theft-alarm-120db-27123
    Many other toys - This is the main thing I miss in Nicaragua.

  7. #7
    TRN Member
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    Jan 2007
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    San Juan Del Sur
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    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    How about big stuff, have you tried that? I need a heavy duty cement mixer right now. Could I order that through one of your contacts for delivery to Nicaragua?

    I'm going to try "suitcasing" through CR when I return week after next. I have a lot of medical stuff for donation and I worry about losing it at MGA. People depend on me.

    Once it's in my car (which is already in CR) I think I'll be OK. I was planning on stopping by and chatting with you . . . .

    Note the PriceMart donuts on the corner of the desk . . .
    Ja Ja - Don't see how you stay slim.
    Things like the cement mixer no - That need is the most common & I don't have an answer.
    Stop by & say hello - Would Like to meet you.
    I will check - I know a guy here trying to sell a mixer - Diesel powered I think - I will talk to him.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Compromised Debit Card

    I only use my US debit card at bank ATMs--if somebody would compromise it at a store it would be a major inconvenience as it is my main pipeline to my pension account in the States. My main Nica debit I only use at bank ATMs, Maxipali, and one gas station in town. It is a passthrough account that only has enough money for the month so my liability would be limited. My other debit card is only used at the issuing bank`s ATM machines.

    When my US cards need to be replaced, I have the relatives tape the card to the back of a 4 x 6 foto in the middle of a stack of photos and have them mail it airmail. So far no problems, but I started having them tape it this way after I received several letters with nothing missing but damaged and marked ``found open in managua``. At this stage nobody has called the 1-800 number from the home phone so the card is not activated until I receive it here.

    I had a relative get a nica credit card but she soon got into ``Claro syndrome``--the bills didn`t arrive but the penalty notices did. She went through the painful 2 month process of going to the bank repeatedly to close the account.

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