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Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

Orlando, Florida
4 posts
1 review
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Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

If you use your ATM card and it didn't go through the first time, but it did the second? Well, expect a duplicate amount of money withdrawn from your bank account. Guatemalan's banks won't care nor do something about it.

Unfortunately, all ATM's in Antigua will give you trouble at one point or another... like if they are already set it up for that, and there's when the duplicate happens. Needless to say the cloning... Even thought the machine tell you to check for something suspicious around where you insert your card, you have to insert it in order for them to start. Very fishy...

You MUST check your bank account every single day to make sure that THAT doesn't happen to you. If your card gets cloned they will take everything... Number of the card and your Pin number too. Until you cancel your debit card. Otherwise they will keep using it over and over...

...Banks will exchange you only $120 a week...

So, if you are planning to go there... Think twice! Traveling with a lot of cash is not a smart move either...

6 replies to this topic
Antigua, Guatemala
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75 posts
111 reviews
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1. Re: Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

All ATMs in Antigua will give you trouble at one point or another?

This hair-on-fire posting is ridiculous. Having lived in Antigua for going on four years, I can tell you that periodically there are issues with certain ATMs, notably the one (BAC? BAM?) next door to Wendy's in the Parque Central. I have had one instance of this ATM not giving money but taking it out of my account; my home bank in the US refunded it. Prevailing wisdom says to use ATMs in enclosed spaces like bank lobbies and pharmacies where would-be thieves can't get at the machines to tinker with them.

Sometimes ATMs run out of cash, especially during busy holiday weekends. And every once in awhile, the entire system may go down But that's a rarity.

It would be much more helpful to explain what happened to you rather than to make blanket statements condemning every bank in Antigua. There are many of us who live here quite happily and have never had the kind of experience about which you have such strong opinions. There are discussions regarding ATMs on this forum, which you probably should have reviewed

Bethesda, MD
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2,874 posts
38 reviews
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2. Re: Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

I thought it was alarmist, but wanted to hear from someone on the scene. Thanks for putting it in perspective for people.

Cardiff, United...
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1 post
18 reviews
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3. Re: Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

I had no problems during 3 weeks in Guatemala. I used the 5b ATMs without any stress. Others simply would not work. I do not believe there is any more risk there than any other country

Poulsbo, Washington
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28 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

We used ATM's in Antigua, Pana, and Flores without a single problem. Let common sense be your guide and you should be fine.

Orlando, Florida
4 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

I was there OK. And sucks when it happens to you. So, instead of undermining, think how lucky you have

been. I took my precautions and still it happened.

So, my advice: Check you bank account every day!!! Guatemala is beautiful, Yes! But when you have to deal

with this type of problems abroad and the thieves are still charging hotels, meals and whatever they want

because in order to stop the charges you have to close that account, that YOU are using abroad... Gives you a different perspective...

So, mtnmantim, supercrutch, Dc_n_MD and misstutti2..... Considerer yourself superlucky!

I was not the only one in my group who had this problem, but the only one warning about it....

Bethesda, MD
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2,874 posts
38 reviews
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6. Re: Warning!!! The usage of Debit and Credit Cards is not safe.

Yes it sucks when it happens to you, but it happens everywhere, and there are precautions to take, and they've been discussed on this forum frequently. But you basically told people not to travel to Guatemala because of it.

One suggestion you didn't make, and which I haven't seen here: Don't rely on just one card; have a backup available in case of a situation like this.

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