Is Crazy ATM Software Scam or Not Find out here

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Contents

Is Crazy ATM Software Scam or Not? Find out here

Is your debit card safe? ATM scams are on the rise, according to data collected by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). In 2020, the number of debit cards compromised at ATMs grew by 70%. That same year, the number of compromised card readers increased by 30%. Between 2020 and 2020, ATM fraud rose 10% and it was ranked as the third most pressing concern among financial institutions in 2020. ATM fraud and card theft cost financial institutions an average of $600 per card

FICO attributes the increase in ATMs scams to an increase in ATM scamming devices, such as skimmers. It’s easier than ever before for thieves to get their hands on such devices, and more and more people are doing just that.

The good news is it’s also relatively easy to protect yourself, your cards and your money. Here’s how not to fall victim to scams and theft at an ATM.

How Can You Recognize ATM Scams?

Knowing what to look for when you visit an ATM will help you avoid becoming a victim of a scam. Thieves use a variety of techniques to get your debit card number and PIN. Knowing how to spot the devices and tools a fraudster might use to get your debit card information is one way to protect yourself from theft. The next time you go to use an ATM, here’s what to keep an eye out for:

1. Card Reader Overlay

ATM thieves often use skimming devices to collect the information stored on ATM and debit cards, including the card numbers and PINs. A card reader overlay is one of the most common examples of a skimming device. Card-reading skimmers are also pretty inexpensive, costing just a few hundred dollars on average. That makes them affordable for most thieves, especially if those criminals stand to gain thousands of dollars from stealing other people’s money.

A card reader overlay fits on top of the existing card reader on an ATM. When you swipe or insert your card into the machine, the skimmer reads and records the number. Usually, you can use the compromised ATM to get money or check your account balance without issue, so you might not even realize the skimmer is there if you’re not looking closely.

Although skimmers are often found in the ATMs themselves, some thieves are a bit more clever. They might install the skimmers on the device you need to swipe to get into an ATM vestibule after hours. Others use handheld skimmers to swipe people’s cards on the sly.

For example, a dishonest waiter or a thief posing as a waiter at a restaurant can take your debit card to pay for your meal. Instead of bringing the card back to the restaurant’s point of sale system right away, the thief can swipe it through the skimmer.

Once thieves have collected enough card numbers, they can produce fake debit cards featuring those numbers.

The next time you go to use an ATM, look closely at the card-reading slot. If you notice that anything looks strange, such as glue or tape near the card reader or a reader that seems loose, your best bet is not to use that particular machine. If possible, let an employee of the bank or store where the ATM is located know that you think something is up.

2. Hidden Cameras

You might be thinking, “a thief can use a skimmer to get my debit card information. But, he or she still won’t have access to my PIN!” Thieves often install a hidden camera on or near the ATM, along with the card reader overlay. The camera is usually pointed at the keypad and records your PIN as you type it in.

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Hidden cameras are meant to be, well, hidden, so they can be tricky to spot. One thing to look for is a box that seems out of place. The box might be next to the ATM’s screen or to either side of the keypad. If you see a box, feel along its sides and corners, looking for a hole. Often, the hole will be pointed at the keypad, giving the camera tucked away inside a clear view of the keys.

3. Keypad Overlays

Hidden cameras aren’t the only method scammers use to record your PIN. Some also install a fake keypad, or a keypad overlay, on top of the real one. The additional keyboard can record your PIN as you put it in.

Often, you can tell that a keypad overlay is in place by feeling the keys on it. If the keys feel thicker than usual or spongy, your best bet is to stop using the ATM before entering in your entire PIN.

4. “Helpful” Thieves or Shoulder Surfing

Some thieves like to use a mix of modern and old-school techniques when stealing people’s ATM information. They might install a skimmer on the machine. But instead of using a camera or a fake keypad to record PINs, they will look over your shoulder as you type in your PIN.

In some cases, a thief might act like an innocent bystander, someone who’s just passing by and who noticed you were having trouble with the machine. It’s always a good idea to be wary of anyone you don’t know when you’re using an ATM, no matter where that ATM is located. If a stranger offers to help you with the machine, just say no thanks and leave. You can also report any suspicious behavior to the bank.

5. Card Trapping

Some thieves don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a new card from the stolen card number. Instead of installing a skimmer on an ATM, they might install a device that traps your card in the machine. You put your card into the slot and instead of processing your transaction, the machine seems to “eat” it, and you get an error message.

The thief may or may not also get your PIN by filming it with the hidden camera or through a false keypad on top of the real deal. Once you walk away from the machine, the thief will drop by and remove your card from the trapper.

6. Cash Trapping

Cash trapping is similar to card trapping. The big difference is the person using the device gets the cash you were trying to take out of the machine, rather than your card. You might get a message on the machine that the transaction didn’t go through, or you might just think the machine is broken since no cash comes out.

When you leave the area, the thief will come by to take the money out of the trap. Usually, cash trapping is less valuable to thieves than getting card numbers, but it also provides them with money immediately.

7. Shimmers

EMV chips make card reader skimmers pretty much worthless since the skimmers are designed to read the magnetic stripe on a card. To keep up with the changing times, some thieves have started to use “shimmers” at ATMs instead of card reader overlays. The shimmer captures the data on a chip-card, allowing a thief to produce a magnetic stripe card from it.

A shimmer slides into the ATM and is often not visible from the exterior, which can make spotting a compromised ATM tricky. Fortunately, a shimmer will only work if the EMV technology isn’t properly implemented in the ATM. Every time you use a debit card with an EMV chip, the card creates a new card verification value (dynamic CVV) for the transaction. Dynamic CVV is only good for a single transaction, meaning a counterfeit magnetic stripe card made with a dynamic CVV wouldn’t work.

8. Fake ATMs

Another way a thief can get access to card information is to install a “fake” ATM in a public place. Think about all the places where you might find an ATM, such as the corner of a gas station or a deli. Some ATMs are even located in restaurants or malls.

Although it takes considerably more effort to install a counterfeit ATM than to use a software program or skimmer, some thieves have done it. When you try to use your card at the machine, it gives you an error message and no cash after you’ve put in your PIN. Meanwhile, the thieves have been able to record your details.

9. ATM Deposit Scams

Here’s an old-fashioned way scammers can take advantage of you at an ATM. A thief will put an out-of-order sign on an ATM. Near the ATM, he or she will leave a box, instructing people who were going to deposit into the ATM to put their envelope in the box so a “teller” can collect the deposits and manually enter the transactions later.

The goal here is to steal any checks or cash people might be foolish enough to put into the box. If you are planning on depositing at an ATM and see an out-of-order sign, bring your cash or check into the bank or use your mobile app to make the deposit instead.

How Can You Protect Your Debit Card and Prevent ATM Fraud?

Although ATM scams and debit card theft are on the rise, the good news is you can be proactive about protecting yourself and your bank balance. The other good news is that the use of EMV-chip debit cards has seemed to slow down the rate of ATM fraud somewhat.

Until ATM fraud really is a thing of the past, though, there are several things you can do to prevent ATM scams:

  • Choose your ATM with care. Some ATMs are better than others. It’s unlikely a thief will have installed a counterfeit ATM at your bank, and it’s unlikely that someone will have stuck a skimmer on an ATM inside your bank. Try to use the same ATM every time you need cash. That way, you know what it looks like and can quickly detect any changes.
  • Inspect the ATM before using it. Whether you’re using a familiar ATM or not, give it a good inspection before you swipe or insert your card and before you put your PIN in. ATMs are pretty solid machines. If you notice the area where you put your card is loose or the keypad feels wobbly, don’t use the machine. If there are two machines next to each other, compare the two. If one looks considerably different from the other, that can be a sign one was tampered with. Also, look around and make sure the ATM has recognizable bank or card logos on it, such as the Visa or Mastercard logos.
  • Be suspicious of out-of-order signs: Sometimes, if a thief has gone to the trouble of tampering with an ATM, they might put out-of-order signs on neighboring machines, to encourage people to use the tampered ones. If you see an out of order sign or any signs directing you to one machine over the others, your best bet is to find a different ATM.
  • Keep an eye on your surroundings. Don’t go up to an ATM when someone else is hanging around it. Wait for the person to leave, keeping your distance. You can also come back later. Try to use an ATM that is in the middle of a busy area so someone can’t sneak up behind you.
  • Cover your PIN. When you put your PIN in, cover the­­ keypad with your free hand so a person can’t “shoulder surf” and memorize your number.
  • Call your bank if you have any trouble at an ATM. If an ATM does eat your card or doesn’t give you the cash you withdrew, call your bank immediately. Don’t leave the ATM area while you call. You don’t want to give the thief a chance to swing by and take your card or cash.
  • Pay attention to your bank balance. While keeping an eagle eye on your bank balance won’t keep someone from stealing your money, it will help you see right away when theft does occur. The sooner you report the theft to your bank, the better.
  • Lower your daily withdrawal maximum. Most debit cards have a maximum daily withdrawal amount, meaning you can only take out a few hundred dollars per day. You might consider lowering that amount if you don’t regularly need to take out large amounts of cash. Doing so will limit the amount a scammer can swipe from your account during a day.
  • Create a separate bank account for your debit card. Another way to protect your money from scammers is to create a dedicated checking account for cash and certain spending. Instead of putting all your money in the account, put only what you need for certain purchases in it. That way, you won’t lose all your money if your card is compromised. You’ll still have to wait for your bank to refund the money after the theft is reported, but the sting should be reduced somewhat.

Will EMV Cards Reduce the Risk for ATM Scams?

Cards that have the little chip in them, known as EMV cards, are meant to reduce the risk of fraud and theft. When you use a card that has a chip in it, it creates a one-time use code for the transaction, rather than using your card’s number.

In some ways, chip cards are safer than traditional magnetic stripe cards. But they aren’t a foolproof way to protect you from ATM scams.

For example, some thieves have tried using devices known as shimmers, which read the data on the card’s chip, making it possible for them to copy the card. If your card issuer reads the card verification value (CVV) when confirming the transaction, a shimmer won’t be able to steal the data on your chip. Not every issuer reads the CVV, which can put some card holders at risk.

If you’re concerned about shimmers, you can use the same techniques you would use to avoid skimmers and other scams. Cover the keypad while typing in the PIN, don’t use unfamiliar ATMs in out-of-the-way areas and pay close attention to your account balances.

What to Do If You’re a Victim of ATM Fraud

Sometimes, ATM fraud and theft happens despite your best efforts to prevent it. If you’ve been the victim of an ATM scam, you’re not necessarily out hundreds or thousands of dollars. The sooner you report the theft of a debit card, the less you’ll be on the hook for, per the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

For example, if you report a debit card as lost or stolen before someone else uses it, you’ll be liable for $0. But if someone does use your card before you report it as stolen, you might be responsible for up to $50 worth of theft if you reported it within two days. If you wait longer than two days but report within 60 days, you can be responsible for up to $500.

If you don’t report your card lost or stolen within 60 days, then you are responsible for all the loss in your bank account, including any overdraft charges.

If you didn’t lose your card but you notice a transaction you didn’t make on your bank statement, you have up to 60 days to report the transactions to your bank. The sooner you report anything suspicious, the sooner your bank can cancel your debit card and keep the scammer from stealing anything else.

Bear in mind that your bank might have different rules than those outlined in the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. For example, your bank might provide zero liability protection, even if you don’t report your card lost or stolen right away. That can be especially helpful if you’re the victim of a skimming attack and don’t even realize your information’s been taken until a few days later.

Keep your bank’s contact information handy so you can easily get in touch to report any suspected fraud or theft. It’s also a good idea to have a phone number for your bank programmed into your phone so you can report any suspicious looking ATMs or any unusual ATM activity immediately.

5 ATM Scams That Can Break the Bank

Over the last two decades, automated teller machines (ATMs) have become as much a part of the landscape as the phone booths made famous by Superman. As a result of their ubiquity, people casually use these virtual cash dispensers without a second thought. The notion that something could go wrong never crosses their minds.

Unfortunately, things are not always as they seem at the ATM. Most ATM scams involve criminal theft of debit card numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs) from the innocent users of these machines. There are several variations of this confidence scheme, but all involve the unknowing cooperation of the cardholders themselves.

The first step in avoiding these schemes is to become aware of them. Let’s explore the most common ways people get ripped off at ATMs.

Key Takeaways

  • ATM scams can involve stealing your debit card number or personal identification number.
  • Popular scams that thieves use include using a counterfeit device for access to the door to the ATM and using a false facade on the front of the machine.
  • Some criminals can swipe data from free-standing ATMs using cracking programs.
  • Other forms of ATM scams include good old fashioned stealing the entire ATM or placing a fake deposit receptacle at the ATM and putting an “out of order” sign on the machine.

1. Every Little Thing It Does Is Magic

The most common scheme begins when a bank customer swipes his or her debit card in the device that opens the door to the ATM vestibule typically found in a bank’s inner doorway. Because most people are unaware of precisely what this magnetic reader should look like, criminals can place a counterfeit device that reads and copies card numbers on the outside door without being detected by customers. 

Once the customer is inside, a hidden surveillance camera records PINs as customers enter them on the ATM keyboard. The result of this information gathering is the illegal creation of a duplicate card that thieves quickly use to withdraw all the funds in the connected bank accounts as quickly as possible.

Detection of this particular fraud is difficult for the average consumer as there are several dozen manufacturers of legitimate swiping devices. Attempting to distinguish a real one from a fake is almost impossible.

2. Don’t Stand So Close to Me

Another method of trickery involves the attachment of a false facade over the ATM machine. Though the machine looks normal, in reality, the attachment will “eat” your card and display an error message. Your PIN is usually recorded by a hidden camera, or in some cases, by a “helpful” person standing nearby who suggests that you try to enter your PIN again. Of course, this person is actually a criminal, and moments after you leave, he or she will retrieve your card from the false front of the ATM and walk away with both your card and the access code.

5 ATM Scams That Can Break The Bank

3. Ghosts in the Machines

Freestanding ATMs are also subject to criminal activity. These devices are located in areas as varied as airport terminals and self-service gasoline pumps. In some situations, criminal hackers are able to capture account information by using WiFi scanners and cracking programs to download transaction data when the systems fail to be protected by high-level encryption software.

The most audacious of ATM scams is the installation of machines whose only purpose is to steal information. This criminal confidence scheme was once a popular activity of organized crime circles.   Seemingly normal ATMs would be placed in small shops, bars, and other venues. The machines were never actually loaded with funds, but instead were there solely to entice users to swipe their cards and enter their PINs. After collecting this information, an error message would appear. These seemingly innocent devices provided criminals with a steady flow of stolen banking information. Because of their placement in high-traffic areas, users did not realize that all users were unsuccessful at withdrawing funds.

4. Making the Best of What’s Around

An old-fashioned scam that still reaps profits for criminals is the placement of a deposit receptacle in an ATM vestibule with a sign over the automated machine stating it is out of order.   Here, the felon’s goal is to capture cash deposits that were intended for the more secure electronic banking machine. While it may seem obvious that depositing money in this insecure fashion is a bad idea, the comfort, and trust that people have when entering a financial institution often allows them to suspend their suspicions as they believe that there is no safer place than a bank.

5. Demolition Men

Finally, criminals who are too impatient to go through the complex process of stealing bank accounts and personal identification numbers will simply steal an entire ATM.   Typically, this crime occurs in the overnight hours inside a business, such as a supermarket. The thieves will break-in, use the store’s forklift (which is normally used for the benign purpose of moving cases of beer and soda) to rip the ATM off the floor and load it onto a waiting truck. As a fully loaded ATM can hold as many as 10,000 bills, the total amount of dollars stolen can be in the tens of thousands.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let a simple transaction like withdrawing money from an ATM be a way for thieves to get the best of you. To avoid scams like these, listen to the cautionary voices in your head and be careful when something seems amiss. Even in what seems like normal circumstances, shield the keyboard with your other hand when entering your PIN—it’s no fun to be driven to tears by a crime you could have prevented. And of course, if you spot a scam in action, don’t apprehend the criminals yourself—let the police deal with that.

Krebs on Security

In-depth security news and investigation

Thieves Planted Malware to Hack ATMs

A recent ATM skimming attack in which thieves used a specialized device to physically insert malicious software into a cash machine may be a harbinger of more sophisticated scams to come.

Two men arrested in Macau for allegedly planting malware on local ATMs (shown with equipment reportedly seized from their hotel room).

Authorities in Macau — a Chinese territory approximately 40 miles west of Hong Kong — this week announced the arrest of two Ukrainian men accused of participating in a skimming ring that stole approximately $100,000 from at least seven ATMs. Local police said the men used a device that was connected to a small laptop, and inserted the device into the card acceptance slot on the ATMs.

Armed with this toolset, the authorities said, the men were able to install malware capable of siphoning the customer’s card data and PINs. The device appears to be a rigid green circuit board that is approximately four or five times the length of an ATM card.

According to local press reports (and supplemented by an interview with an employee at one of the local banks who asked not to be named), the insertion of the circuit board caused the software running on the ATMs to crash, temporarily leaving the cash machine with a black, empty screen. The thieves would then remove the device. Soon after, the machine would restart, and begin recording the card and PINs entered by customers who used the compromised machines.

The Macau government alleges that the accused would return a few days after infecting the ATMs to collect the stolen card numbers and PINs. To do this, the thieves would reinsert the specialized chip card to retrieve the purloined data, and then a separate chip card to destroy evidence of the malware. Here’s a look at the devices that Macau authorities say the accused used to insert the malware into ATMs (I’m working on getting clearer photos of this hardware):

Five of the devices Macau police say the thieves used to insert the malware and retrieve stolen data.

Here is a side-view look at the circuit board device:

Source: Yahoo! News

And finally, a close-up of one end of the skimming board itself:

ATM attacks that leverage external, physical access to install malware aren’t exactly new, but they’re far less common than skimming devices that are made to be affixed to the cash machine for the duration of the theft. It’s not clear how the malware is being delivered in this case, but in previous attacks of this sort the thieves have been able to connect directly to a USB port somewhere inside the ATMs.

Late last year, a pair of researchers at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) conference in Germany detailed a malware attack that drained ATMs at unnamed banks in Europe. In that attack, the crooks cut a chunk out of the ATM’s chassis to expose its USB port, and then inserted a USB stick loaded with malware. The thieves would then replace the cut-out piece of chassis and come back a few days later, and enter a 12-digit code that launched a special interface that displayed the amount of money available in each denomination — along with options for dispensing each kind.

In December 2020, I wrote about an attack in Brazil in which thieves swapped an ATM’s USB-based security camera with a portable keyboard that let them hack the cash machine. In that attack, the crook caused a reboot of the ATM software by punching in a special combination of keys. The thieves then were able to reboot into a custom version of Debian Linux designed to troubleshoot locked or corrupted ATM equipment.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 30th, 2020 at 10:22 am and is filed under All About Skimmers. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

78 comments

I think Banks should consider placing ATMs more consistently under the IT division rather than under operations. While Operations may understand the logistics of the couriers and the physical security of the cash, they seldom have enough of a sense of how vulnerable the computers inside are to attacks.

Besides the fact that a significant number of ATMs still run on the no-longer-supported Windows XP, banks tend to not understand that physical security of the computer is just as important as physical security of the cash inside the ATM box.

Add on to that that smaller banks will often neglect software patching or will utilize USB Thumb drives to patch ATMs rather than utilizing a network connection and the hits just keep coming.

While I agree fully with your point about the physical security of the computer in ATMs, I’m not sure I’d agree that workflow shifts inside banks would improve things. Seems to me that manufacturers of these systems are the ones who’d have to get onboard with providing the same level of security for the electronics as for the cash. They’d want to physically “vault” the electronics (so as to prevent the sort of cut-away physical compromise described above) as well as get the developers to tighten code up more so that inputs like the long green board with the malware doesn’t happen.

I think many small and midsized banks just purchase ATM systems turnkey, don’t they? If that’s the case, I’d say onus should be as much on the manufacturers as on the banks themselves to demand it.

In the US at least, Banks don’t own any of the ATMS, even at Branches, They are owned by DIEBOLD or NCR or …. whatever. Those are the companies who also make the very vulnerable voting machines known from the 2000 Elections.

Many ATMs used to run OS/2, now XP Embedded, there’s a lot of crap out there that’s vulnerable.

How this works is simply genius though.

Use a card adaptor to emulate a keyboard, send keystrokes and code down the neck of ATM and voila! instant chaos.

Diebold and NCR (among others) manufacture and service ATMs, while the banks themselves own the hardware. Third-party leasing companies may partner with ATM manufacturers but to my knowledge neither of the two you named are directly involved in the hardware-as-a-service business model.

Can we all at least agree that the *manufacturers* of the ATMs are ultimately responsible for designing a physically secure solution, regardless of who owns or leases the ATM?

In the beginning (1970-2000), the processor card cage was located in the secure chest with the cash. The change to move the processor to the non-secure upper cabinet was driven by the banks themselves. The thing is, the banks want all the non-cash parts of the ATM outside the secure chest as it simplifies servicing. You see, physical access to the secure chest (where the money is) is a big deal and usually the branch personnel cant open it. It takes a call to either a 3rd party cash servicing company or someone at the bank with the rights to open the chest.

You have to remember for the banks this is all about risk management. If the processor is in the secure chest, then their servicing costs go up. They balance that against the cost of fraud. In the US at least, service costs greatly outweigh the risk of fraud. Remember, in the US at least, the most common ATM crime is a mugging or robbery, not sophisticated fraud.

9 Common Types of Fraud

When you think of identity theft, you probably picture someone stealing your Social Security number or hacking your email account. But unfortunately, it’s much farther reaching than that.

Common Types of Fraud

Sadly, fraud is all too common in our world today. From voter fraud to bank account fraud, Americans’ personal information is more vulnerable than ever.

Here are the 9 types of fraud you need to watch out for:

Driver’s License Fraud

Debit and Credit Card Fraud

Bank Account Takeover Fraud

Stolen Tax Refund Fraud

Knowing the different types of fraud and following these tips to avoid being a victim can help you protect your identity.

Mail Fraud

The definition of mail fraud is simple: it’s any fraudulent activity that involves the use of postage mail. This could mean sending a letter to try and scam money or personal information from someone, stealing and opening someone else’s mail, or using chain letters to collect money or items.

Basically, if mail is used at any point in the fraud process, it’s considered mail fraud.

How to protect yourself from mail fraud

The best way to guard against mail fraud is to make sure a letter is legitimate before responding to it. If there’s a phone number printed on what looks like a piece of official communication, verify it’s actually the phone number of the company involved and not a fake one.

Do you have the right ID theft protection? Get covered in minutes.

A good rule of thumb when mailing a letter that includes personal information such as your bank account number or Social Security number is to take it directly to the post office so it can’t be stolen out of your mailbox.

Make sure you don’t leave mail out in your mailbox for too long! If you know you’ll be away for a while, consider temporarily stopping your mail service or asking a neighbor to get it for you until you’re back in town.

Driver’s License Fraud

You need your driver’s license for a lot of things: to board a plane, to open a bank account, and of course, to legally drive! It’s no wonder then that some people try to steal a driver’s license so they can do all of these things under a different name—yours.

If someone has been issued a driver’s license in your name, they can completely ruin your reputation without you even realizing it! Of course, traffic violations are a concern, but you should be more worried about them committing worse offenses in your name. If the scammer happens to live in your state, you might run into trouble when it comes time to renew your license.

How to protect yourself from driver’s license fraud

When you discover someone has a fraudulent driver’s license in your name, contact your state DMV to get it shut down right away. You’ll also want to monitor your credit report to make sure the thief isn’t using your information for other types of fraud too.

Health Care Fraud

Health care/medical fraud happens when an individual, insurance provider, or medical office misuses insurance information for their own personal gain. This can impact you in a major way if a criminal gains access to your health insurance information and uses it on their own medical care! The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates that health care fraud costs the industry tens of billions of dollars each year! (1)

How to protect yourself from health care fraud

To avoid this type of fraud, stay on top of all your medical bills, insurance claims and personal information. It’s important to check any statements you receive from your health insurance provider or your doctor’s office. If you notice any services listed that you didn’t receive, contact your insurance provider immediately to report the issue.

Debit and Credit Card Fraud

When a thief gets access to your debit or credit card number, plain and simple, it’s fraudulent activity. This can happen when the card number or the physical card itself is stolen.

How to protect yourself from debit or credit card fraud

We recommend monitoring your banking account on a weekly basis. That way you’ll catch any unauthorized charges on your bank or credit card statements and can contact the card issuer right away to start the clean-up process.

Guard your cards carefully to make sure no one steals your numbers. Chip cards are more secure than those with only the magnetic strip, so if you haven’t already made the switch, now is a good time to do it.

You should also be cautious about using ATMs anywhere other than your bank. Hackers can sometimes tamper with these third-party ATMs with devices called skimmers that steal your information.

And remember: never store your card numbers online. Instead, consider using a service like PayPal to avoid inputting your debit card number on a third-party website when online shopping.

Bank Account Takeover Fraud

One of the worst types of fraud to clean up is when a thief gets access to your bank account. This can happen pretty easily just by someone stealing a check out of your mailbox, getting ahold of your account info through an email scam, or (in some extreme cases) using malware to gain access to all of your personal information.

This type of fraud can completely drain your bank account if you don’t act quickly—and you might never get that money back. Be sure to monitor your account statements on a regular basis and keep an eye out for any transfers you didn’t authorize.

How to protect yourself from bank account takeover fraud

It should go without saying, but never log in to your bank account from unsecured Wi-Fi, and always check to make sure it’s actually your bank’s website you’re logging into instead of a scam site built to look like the real thing.

Stolen Tax Refund Fraud

During tax season, you’ll hear a lot about the importance of filing your taxes early. Why? Part of the reason is to avoid tax fraud! This type of fraud is known as stolen refund fraud, and it happens when someone else receives your refund by stealing your Social Security number and filing your taxes themselves. By the time you send in your real return, it’s rejected by the IRS because you’ve “already filed.”

It sounds crazy, but this kind of identity theft happens more often than you’d think—actually, it’s one of the top scams the IRS encounters each year. (2)

How to protect yourself from stolen tax refund fraud

So, what’s a law-abiding taxpayer to do? Be vigilant about who and where you give your personal information. Play it safe and use security software on your computer. And don’t ever carry around your Social Security card or anything with your Social Security number on it—including your W-2! Keep it all in a safe place

Voter Fraud

This made a lot of headlines during the 2020 election, but what does it actually mean? A lot of things! Voter fraud is a broad term used to describe any kind of illegal tampering with the voting process—things like voting twice, voting under a false identity (like someone who has passed away), voting as a felon, and buying or selling votes.

How to protect yourself from voter fraud

Here’s the thing about this type of fraud: it’s hard to protect yourself against it, but it’s also pretty rare that your identity will be stolen for this purpose. If you suspect you’re a victim of voter fraud, go ahead and report it to the United States Department of Justice.

Internet Fraud

This one is exactly how it sounds; internet fraud happens when someone uses the internet as a tool to take advantage of someone else through fraud. The most common ways of doing this are things like data breaches, email account compromise (EAC), malware and phishing. Online internet schemes steal millions of dollars from victims each year. (3)

How to protect yourself from internet fraud

You can help keep malware and other identity stealing viruses at bay by staying up to date with your anti-virus software on your computer and mobile device. When it comes to phishing scams, be on guard anytime you see an email asking you for personal information. And always read and re-read links to make sure you’ve been directed to the official website and not a scam site.

Elder Fraud

While all of these types of fraud can happen to anyone, elderly people are targets for even more fraudulent activity specific to their age group. They’re generally known for being more trusting, good-natured and kind-hearted people, leaving them more susceptible to types of fraud like phone scams or wire transfer fraud. Many scammers call offering lottery winnings, sweepstake prizes, or even health care services. These false promises help them gain access to financial and personal information.

How to protect yourself from elder fraud

Elderly people can also be less likely to keep an eye on their bank account information. So by the time they discover what happened to all their money, it’s too late. If you’re seeking peace of mind for the older loved ones in your life, consider getting them to sign up for an identity theft monitoring service with Zander Insurance. They’ll help them stay alert of any suspicious activity on their accounts.

Don’t Be a Victim of Fraud!

Sometimes it can feel like you’re just a sitting duck waiting for these types of fraud to hit you. Instead of living in fear, be proactive!

Take steps now to protect yourself from many common types of fraud with identity theft protection from Zander Insurance!

Travelling Claus

Travelling the world by bicycle, on foot and as a tour leader.

Do NOT use Euronet ATM’s when you travel.

Don’t use Euronet.

Euronet ATM’s are popping up all over the world. But they have very high fees. And you should stay away from them.

In the past couple of years, I have noticed ATM’s from the company Euronet popping up in many countries. ATM’s from this company are always located in places with many tourists and are easily visible. In many airports they have exclusive rights to operate ATM’s at the moment.

Euronet ATM’s do in many ways look like regular ATM’s. But there is a problem. The fees that are charged by Euronet and the exchange rates that are give are really really bad, compared to ordinary banks. It varies from country to country how they work. It all comes down to how much they can get away with in each country. Without breaking the law. If a country has a weak consumer protection law, then they will often make you lose up to 15% of your money in fees and bad exchange rates if you use them. They are made so that they only have high charges on foreign cards. This way they avoid getting in to too much trouble with the locals. But the foreign tourists pay a very high price to use them.

I have done some research and some of the eastern European countries are especially badly hit by high Euronet fees. I am writing these lines in Hungary, where they are everywhere. One month ago I was Visiting Poland and did also notice them in many places there. And noticed that the rates and fees there are terribly high there as well. Portugal has also been swamped with Euronet machines recently.

Who is behind Euronet?

The company is not actually European as you might think. Euronet is from the small town Leawood in Kansas. Euronet roughly employs 7700 people.

My advice to you if you are on holiday and need to draw money from your debit or credit card, then use the ATM’s that are inside regular banks. They are generally a lot cheaper. And I mean really a lot cheaper. There is no need to waste your hardly earned cash on these machines.

I decided to write this because I hate to see people wasting money when they travel. Hope you found this information helpful.

Nice travels, without Euronet, to everyone.

Claus.

118 Comments

Thanks for the warning, Claus. Back when I only traveled a few weeks per trip, I just brought money with me. Now that I”m away for much longer, I just withdraw money from ATMs. The 15% they charge is such BS. Most travelers aren’t usually aware of the charges deducted from their account, so this is good to know. I haven’t seen them here in Israel but I’ll keep on the lookout for those elsewhere.

I just bought some Kronas at Prague airport Euronet ATM whilst waiting for my luggage and they ripped me off by over 15 per cent. What a scandal. How can a Yankee firm be aloud to be called Euronet Worldwide is mind boggling. Also they have the cheek to write on the receipt Mark up: o%. Bastards.

Absolute rip off, you don’t even know the lousy rate and high ATM fee until you have withdrawn money.

I can confirm this. I used one of these ATM’s situated at the airport in Copenhagen to withdraw Danish Crones (my currency was Euros) and later that day I googled the exchange rate and woops, in the end I payed around 10-12% more than I should have. 100% Rip- Off.

Dont use euronet they charged me 50 euro for 1 witdrawel

Hi
Just got stuck with Euronet doing a ridiculous conversion. I have an Australian Debit card. They did a Euro to Australian dollar to Euro conversion. Lost 44€ in the process

We just used Euronet in Vienna and got ripped off $70 US because we weren’t paying close enough attention to the exchange rate. The receipt that we gott said “I have chosen not to use the MasterCard currency conversion process and agree that I will have no recourse
against MC concerning the currency conversion or its disclosure.” Of course this is not true. I plan on complaining to MC although I realize it will be to no avail. So frustrating to be ripped off.

Hi Linda,
Did you do some action against these scammers?

Just got stung in Lisbon Airport. What a rip off.

Totally agree. They are everywhere in Copenhagen, more in number than the genuine bank machines. I used a Monzo card so should have had my DKK converted by Monzo at the best rate. Foolishly (I was in a hurry) I accepted their rate for the conversion. Fortunately it was not a large amount, but they are a great big con. Avoid at all costs, literally.

Thanks for the info I will definitely avoid using Euronet

they’re in Porto Portugal too, everywhere!

Tho photo where I am giving the thumbs down to the Euronet machine is actually taken in Porto Airport ��

Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately I found out the hard way. They charge a conversion rate for Euro to Euro, assuming your own country as the origin denomination. Very dishonest system.

I found out the hard way also, I had a new ‘Travelex Money Card’ loaded only as I believed with Euro, needing Euro cash urgently in Berlin the nearest ATM I could find late at night after arrival was a Euronet one displaying the MasterCard symbol of my Travelex Money card. It refused to pay out Euros direct stating that I must accept their conversion rate. At this point being new card and first use I took perhaps as the card had in error been loaded with Sterling and needing cash accepted the transaction. Aggh wrong — same as Wayne’s post above they charge conversion from Euro to Euro recognising prepaid card as issued in UK. On top of that Travelex added later their own ‘Purse Conversion Fee. of 5.7% so cost me 28 Euros to get 150 Euros in cash. Complaint now raised with Travelex and Mastercard — outcome pending.
My next transaction was in a Banking Hall 150 Euros dispensed without problem zero charges and later check of account for card showed only the 150 Euros debited. So only Bank ATM’s for me now — shame on Euronet and the Mastercard / Travelex Systems for not adequately protecting or warning their Customers.
Hope this post will help others to AVOID Euronet and some other non-Bank ATM’s.

I can confirm this company is a rip off. Does anyone know of an official way to put in a complaint against the unlawful practice of charging exchange rates that are not in line?

Euronet is an American company from Kansas. This means that if you are in Europe, then you should complain to the lawmakers there, that Euronet is breaking the law.

Used it four times in Lisbon airport , didn’t work, but they took 48rmb four times +12rmb for each transaction which didn’t take place. But in Amsterdam I used it again to withdraw €100 and only cost 779rmb +12rmb exchange fee

Hello Rutger, are you saying they charged you even though you did not follow through with the transaction? I think this happened to me. I started to get out of the transaction, there was a final prompt something like “take this exchange rate” with the right button which I had realized was a rip, or “accept the risk that the rate may change” on the left, which I took as walking away from the transaction. I didn’t receive any money or a receipt unless I somehow missed this after taking my card..and yet am missing $150 from my bank account.I want a refund but am fearing that they will not do so…

The same way I’m still missing 400 Eur on my Eur card, after I refused Eur transaction with their exchange rate. Next day I applied to my bank and waiting for reply now.

Hi Kelli, the same thing has happened to my partner. He cancelled at the point of accepting/declining conversion and it still charged his card a very significant amount. Could you confirm if you received the funds back from Euronet eventually?

I just used a Euronet ATM, did not accept their conversion (I never do,) and got the going exchange rate. They use inflammatory language to scare you into accepting their conversion.

A total rip off. Stay away.

Rip off. Stay away and watch out for these ATM’s. Theyare all over the airports in Europe.

I can confirm the above reports. I’m from the UK and Visited Rethmnyo in Crete yesterday, used one of their ATM’s – they are everywhere on Crete – to withdraw 40 Euros, from my Revolut (internet bank) Mastercard, which ONLY held Euro’s. When the screen showed a truly uncompetitive conversion rate for EUROS to EUROS – how does that work. – I decided to hit the “Decline conversion rate” button, but the conversion went ahead anyway. and spewed out two, very expensive 20 Euro notes. The receipt the ATM issued was as good as useless, all it showed was the transaction value (40 Euros) and the date. No information whatsoever about the conversion rate or any useful information.

So yes, definitely avoid these scam ATM’s and as others have advised, ONLY use ATM’s attached to Banks.

Also, a little naming and shaming probably wouldn’t go amiss either.

These ‘stand-alone’ ATM’s are usually located on a retailer’s property – either in their wall, or freestanding, outside on the front of their premises. Obviously, the business owner is on a deal whereby they receive some form of kickback/commission/transaction fee, for allowing Euronet to site their machines on their premises, and every time the ATM is used. So, I suggest it is ‘politely’ pointed out to them that their customers – that’s you and me – are getting ripped off by Euronet. And adding insult to injury, when their customers are spending their ‘expensively acquired’ cash, in the owner’s business – if you get my point!!

Of course, another ‘direct action’ option, might be to superglue the card, cash and receipt slots, thus rendering them inoperable – albeit temporarily. This will cause some irritation to the business owner. Rightly so in my opinion. Making money out of potential patrons of their business or service, in such an unethical way, is not a good way to build customer goodwill. Neither will such a tacky, money-grabbing business model, encourage referrals to other potential customers. Very short-sighted.

Just make sure you’re not being filmed whilst in the act.

I almost got ripped off by them in Italy, but noticed that the exchange rate was too high…. decided to Google it before making a decision and found your article, confirming that I was not being overly paranoid for no reason…. Thank you for taking the time to warn other travelers!!

My pleasure Lara. This blog is first of all created in order to help fellow travelers with tips and advice. Greetings from Bosnia, where I am traveling at the moment.

4 times italy… Rome airport, Capri, Praiano

These machines are now ubiquitous on the Costa del sol. When initially they arrived here you were not charged for taking out euros but the sterling conversation rates were awful. Now to discourage those of us who have Santander zero accounts or Halifax clarity cards a fee of 1.95 euros is applied if you refuse their extortionate mark-up. Avoid and use the cash machines of reputable banks

Ich verstehe das Problem wohl nicht so ganz: Euronet gibt bei Kredit- und Debitkarten die auf Euro lauten keinen “1:1 Wechselkurs”? Das wäre ja wirklich kriminell!? Oder habe die Betroffenen die DDC-Option (DirektCurrencyConversation) bewusst/unbewusst gewählt, die bei Karten aus dem Euroraum für Euroabhebungen gar nicht angeboten werden sollte/dürfte.
Ich habe vor 7 Tagen 200€ bei einem Euronet-ATM in Buggiba/Malta abgehoben, mit einer “deutschen” Visa-Karte von der DKB. Es wurden dabei weder DCC angeboten noch Gebühren erhoben!
Vielleicht sollte man darauf hinweisen, das dieses Problem bei Visakarten von deutschen Direktbanken, die weltweit (zumindest europaweit) kostenlose Bargeldauszahlungen versprechen, keine Gebühren genommen werden, wenn man nicht in die DDC-Falle tappt!?
Sollte ich das Problem nicht ganz erfasst haben, bitte ich um Aufklärung.

Yep .. got a terrible exchange rate from Euronet ATM on Valtos Beach near Parga It was interesting that it said ‘receipt not available’ I reckon this is to guard against complaints.

I used Euronet in Lisbon and got a very good rate. There is one important thing to know.
Once you select the amount you want to withdraw, Euronet will ask if you want the money “with conversion” or “without conversion”. Select WITHOUT CONVERSION.
‘With conversion’ means Euronet does the conversion. ‘Without conversion’ means your home bank or credit card company does the conversion. It is cheaper for your home bank to do the conversion.
Most people select ‘with conversion’ as that seems like the obvious answer “of course I want my money converted”. But select “without conversion” and you will get the foreign currency with your bank doing the exchange.
Once you select “without conversion”, Euronet will then ask: “are you sure”? Select yes.
In Portugal there are 2 ATM companies, Multibanco and Euronet. I use Euronet because MB has a 200 euro limit per transaction while Euronet allows me to withdraw 500 euros.
Hope this helps.

Even if you use Euronet without conversion it’s still a very bad deal, because of the high fees they charge. I have the with and without conversion fee thing covered in another post. But Euronet does not just give you a bad rate. They also have massive fees beside the bad rate. So even if you change without conversion, you still get a really bad deal with Euronet.

There is a high possibility to get ripped of, as they offer you a “fixed” exchange rate(DynamicCurrenyConversion/DCC), which in my case would have been 25€ higher than the usual exchange rate. However, you can either accept this “fix” rate and click the right button, or you can denie it by clicking the left button (as it was in my case). I denied and got charged by the usual rate.
However, I personally am gonna avoid Euronet in the future.

Ugh. Wish i had read this previous to withdrawing euros at the lisbon airport. I got hit with €25 in fees on a €150 withdrawl

You should have gone to the police. ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit transactions. The only way they could charge you fees if if you used their DCC or used a credit card. If you reject DCC and don’t use credit cards for withdrawals, they are always 100% free in Portugal

Very good article. I was looking for a map with Euronet ATM’s in Greece, because tomorrow i’ll be there and a friend of mine just told me that he was ripped by a local ATM in Thassos ��

So I told him that I will help him with some pocket cash, but I have to find an Euronet ATM first :))… For some reason I can’t find a map on Euronet site, who knows why!

You have to trust me, I’m not a stupid traveler and I always think twice before I decide financial things, but this Euronet guys are pretty slick! I’ve never heard about conversion fee to the same currency and I was a bank employee for a few years. If I didn’t pay attention to this info, I think I could be their next sucker.

I use a Raiffeisen Bank CC issued in Romania and always had reasonable exchange rates. This year I thought it will be better if I will get a Libra Bank CC Euro currency, exclusively for vacation purposes.

When they’re give you the sale pitch, the zero travel fee it’s on top of the list. Nothing about the conversio fees :))

If you ask me about Euronet so far, I can say that for more It’s been a pleasure so. For more than a year I use a Romanian currency debit card and there is no ATM fee whatsoever as long as I use Euronet ATM’s in Romania. So I’m doing that heavily.

After I’ve done reading this article and the comments, I was sure that my friend was cheated exactly by the Euronet :)) and I don’t need to search for they’re fraudulent network. �� I have a smile on my face!

These ATM’s are everywhere in Crete. Before we set off on our travels we visited the UK post Office and bought a Post Office prepaid MasterCard and loaded the card with 1000 euros. 10 days into our holiday and we noticed that our balance was lower than what we expected (using the PostOffive travel card mobile app). Not understanding the transactions we contacted the Post Office customer service team who kindly informed us we had been ‘scammed’ and hit with DCC charges. Here is a breakdown of our transactions:

250 euro withdrawal – actual cost 278 euros
100 euro withdrawal – actual cost 117 euros
100 euro withdrawal – actual cost 112 euros
200 euro withdrawal – actual cost 220 euros

I will be complaining to the Post Office and MasterCard when I return home, yes they don’t own these Euronet ATM’s but they should be doing more to protect and warn their customers

We had an almost identical experience to you in Mallorca last week. I reckon I lost around £100 due to the dodgy exchange rates on the Euronet ATM outside our hotel. We were also using a Post Office prepaid Mastercard and because it was loaded with Euros, I didn’t think the exchange rate would apply. It seems as though the ATM was converting the Euros to GBP and back to Euros – I am absolutely fuming! I was prepared to pay the transaction fee, which I though was fair enough, but to be stitched up unnecessarily by the DCC is totally out of order. I suspect that because I “accepted” the exchange offered by the ATM I don’t have a leg to stand on. Please let us know how you get on with your complaints – I am also keen to make a formal complaint as this seems to be legalised fraud….

wish I’d read all this before! Just been ripped for 50quid by Euronet in Siracusa. feel a bit sick. wasn’t aware its so easy to mislead. am very wary now.

Have been to Tenerife and this ATM were all over the place. I debited Euro 70 and did not get warning message and was charged 2.99 Euro by Euronet ATM. On top of that bank charge transaction fees. Total fees around 10%. Is there any law on this loot and scam?

Like others got taken by Euronet in Florence. Paid over 50 Euro to get 200. Lesson learned. I sent a complaint to the company but don’t expect a reply.

I had the same experience for in Rome, Italy, last friday oct. 19th. When I made a withdrawal for 150 EUR I didn’t even got the opportunity to choose anything other than exchange rate that Euronet offered me. At that time 1 EUR = 11.4548 SEK, while the MasterCard rate the same day was 1 EUR = 10.3628 SEK. And on top of that a fee of 2.95 EUR.
AVOID THESE AMERICAN PROFITEERS.

Ha. I am wary of anything that has the acronym “Euro” in it , and was put off also by the looks of them ATM.s . So
I stayed clear of them and went to a regular bank one , refusing the DDC version of course , but I wanted to find out more about Euronet ( especially as I have a direct view of one of them machines from my apartment window here in beautiful Starigrad , Croatia and that is not the only one ) and , lo and behold , what do I find ?? Bingo , THIS article , and a zillion commentaries , which confirms SUSPICION IS RIGHT as the crooks are everywhere!
This one is especially despicable as it is aimed at unwary tourists AND it come from the US and and .
I am changing banks presently so I will have a surplus card soon and I think they do sell superglue at the shop …and it gets dark soon in winter. Dont get mad , get even , folks. and get wise.

They’re still scamming people. I got 150 euros out in Tenerife and the machine completed the transaction before I had chance to hit cancel. The rate on the screen was £1=1.03 euro when the market rate is £1=1.15 euro. Then to add insult to injury they charge a 2.95 euro fee!
I’m complaining to Euronet, but I don’t hold out much hope.
Thanks for starting this Claus, I learnt the hard way. Too late for me, but hopefully not others.

Unfortunately, i just used an ATM of Euronet. The normal fee was not very high. But the exchange rate is really, really bad. So please listen to the advice of Clause: DO NOT USE ATM OF EURONET.

I can confirm…It is ridiculous the exchange rate they use. I lost almost 50 euros withdrawing from this ATM. Won’t do it never again for sure.

Unfortunately it happened to us too. We withdrew 100 Eur in Porto with a european card and we have paid EUR 3, 95 fee.

ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. You either accepted DCC, used a credit card or got hit by some software bug, in which case should have gone to the police

Did any one had an situation like I did? I saw the conversion rate and obviously pressed to not to go ahead and they still took 550€ from my account. With no lonely going out of the ATM.. Ringing the fraud team of my bank they told me it should be back on my account 24-48h but I’m unsure will that be the case as it’s already 48h after. Although it is a weekend.. Anyone in same situation before?

Hi Lucas, could you confirm if you ever received the money back? A similar thing has happened to my partner.. Thank you

I have set up a Facebook page in a hope to warn more people. I hope it’s ok to share it here?

I fell for it too, in Bordeaux airport France. Thank you for this article Claus, at least I am informed and won’t get caught another time.

Unfortunately the only ATM’s in Kraków Airport are EuroNet. The fee was 18 złoty (approx. $5 USD) for a 300 złoty withdrawal declining their conversion rate. Needed złoty for cash only bus service, so the saving compared to the 80 złoty Airport Taxi was worth it for us. Seems like this fee was conservative compared to others, but it cost me nothing to withdraw złoty from Bank Pekao. Fortunately we have learnt for future destinations to avoid these ATM’s.

I am the idiot who has accepted their change in the ATM in Gdansk!
They are legalized bandits!
I was wrong about “Forex” in Sweden was worst!

I had a terrible experience with the ATM of Euronet during my vacation in Krakow for New Year Eve. While I was waiting for cash, the ATM had just become out of order without given to me. Then I checked my online bank and, unfortunately, the transaction for money withdrawal was completed. So, I called to their customer support line and asked for anybody who speaks English to solve my problem. But the operator just kept yieling at me in Polish, without even listening and hang up on me then. After that, I asked the receptionist in my hotel to call to their line and try to speak with them in Polish, so, at first, they were tryingto convienne her that despite the fact the money weren’t given to me, there is no transaction. But she explained them that I did have a transaction for a money withdrawal. So, they promised that the money will be returned to my bank account soon. But it’s 3 weeks already since that terrible situation happened. I even called to my local bank at home and also let them know about the situation. At least they showed they really cared and promised to do all the best from their side. Hope, this problem will be solved soon! But, I will never, ever, use Euronet’s ATM again! They not only charge top commission, but giving you terrible experience on vacation without even try to solve your problem!

An interesting article snd comments. However it does seem as quite a few people have gone for Dynamic currency conversion, which is a rip off on any machine. Can anyone tell me if they have used a TransferWise card loaded with Euros in a Euronet machine. Using the left hand button which apparently is without conversion. The charge should show up within your account after a few days. If not I will have to experiment myself. I like the idea of being able to get 400€ instead of 200, but dislike the idea of being ripped off to prove a point. I’m in Portugal.

You get ripped off, even if you are not using the Dynamic currency conversion. Dynamic currency conversion is on almost all ATM’s these days and you should of course stay away from that. I have also mentioned that in another blog post. But Euronet digs a lot further in to your pocket with their scammer ATM’s.

ATM fees are not legal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. Just don’t use a credit card or accept DCC and you won’t pay a cent!

Just be aware they are all over in Lisbon. Just payed on the exchange rate an extra 25 Euro compare to the current standard rate, just on 150 €. Even was advised form the tourist guide to use this ATM! What a rip off and doubtful advice from the guide! Very unfortunate to see this happening! Can only agree with all the other comments, stay away from this ATM’s.

ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. You either accepted DCC, used a credit card or got hit by some software bug, in which case should have gone to the police

yeah, I have a debit card in EUR, however issued by Polish bank. When tried to withdraw money on Euronet on Malta, they asked me if I would like to convert let’s the amount to EUR. So it means that I had funds in EUR, they wanted to exchange EUR to PLN, just to exchange PLN to EUR. Stupid.

Hye… We got into same situation.

We tried to withdraw 150 Euro from Euronet … But at the end money didn’t come .. we kept waiting… machine was making sound and displaying” collect cash” and we were waiting for cash to come out of machine …. Nothing happened… No money no receipt … NOTHING…. and after 2 mins ATM displayed that you have not collected money we have retracted cash…. and now my money is deducted.

Anybody got into same situation. What did you do.

Take a look at options in your own country first. For example from the US I use a Schwab Bank checking account (current account for others). Their deal is no ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees. Even though the ATM will charge you a fee it is ALWAYS restored on the month end balance. That’s zero ATM fee. And for improved security always use a bank ATM.

I must have been lucky; I used a Euronet machine at the Ukrainian/polish border and I paid no extra charges or exchange fees, just my local bank 1% currency exchange fee, which was OK. Not sure if it helped that it was issued from Swedish bank debit bank card. This was a couple of years ago. Normally I use proper bank ATM’s but at the border this was the only machine present.

Couple of years ago was ok. We could select “without conversion” and our bank would do the conversion using their rate without additional charges. But not anymore. Now there is a “transaction fee”. Even if you select “without conversion”, you’ll still have to pay high transaction fee. I also use Swedish bank card.

Just my two cents … I used one of their ATMs in Malta (Marsaskala) as there was none around and got ripped off with 25 Euros. Had no issues with Bank of Valetta so use them instead if you go to Malta.

FWIW, they’re not the only company with stand-alone ATM’s. Can’t think of the names at the moment, but I swear I’ve seen other non-Euronet stand-alone ATM’s around Europe.

Whatever they’re called, if they’re not associated with a bank (and a quick Google search can confirm it), steer clear.

Thankyou so much for this information. Unfortunately, in Greece too Euronet ATMs are everywhere. We had to make a withdrawal from one of their ATMs and did lose a substantial amount.

Thank you for this, Claus. I was just checking my receipts from a holiday stay in Rome, Italy, in February, and noticed some extraordinary withdrawels in terms of really bad changing rates. One of them found place on the city’s main airport, Fiumicino, where I certainly did not expect any scam. Now I know better. The scam (and Euronet’s dirty business idea) is that Euronet makes you use your domestic valuta as transaction currency, and not the local valuta, as most others ATMs do. Then they can set their own changing rate, which is really indecent and far higher than the cardholder’s bank would have used if the transaction currency had been the local one. I cannot understand that this is legal.

Thank you Claus.
I found out the hard way as well! I used one of their ATM machines in a very touristic place in Cyprus, called Omodos.
I asked for €800 and not only I didn’t get any money I was also charged commission fees!
Now three weeks later and after several phone calls I still haven’t got my money back! My bank has done all the necessary procedures so that the money would be returned to me, but Euronet has other ideas.
I will never use their ATMs ever again and I will be telling everybody I know to keep away from them!

I feel very sorry for those of you who have been ripped off, but it seems most of you are from outside the Euro area?

There are EU laws which forbid companies from charging for a withdrawal from a Euro bank account in another Eurozone country. I don’t see how they could be circumventing this and be allowed to trade?

Just just this ATM in Barcelona on La Rambla. My card got taken due to their faulty machine. When I called they said that I can’t get it back since I am not the owner of my debit card only my bank is. We are on vacation and it is huge trouble for us to have this issue. I called them 3 times and was told that manager will call me within hour, needles to say nobody called. This company is TOTAL rip off. DO NOT USE IT. I will be reporting it to American authorities since it is american company.

You are right for eurozone, In my case my official currency is EUR and if I try to wothdraw in Croatia or Hungry, the fee applies, since these countries are not in eurozone… eurozone is not europe, ot is only zone where eur is official currency

Had the same issue in Portugal this weekend, declined the exchange rate and my card came back out – no money followed. Next thing I know they have taken £171 from my account. Spoke to the bank and they are investigating, should hear back in 3-5 working days. Looking at another blog, someone else mentioned that they still charge even if you decline! Will let you know the outcome with the bank

ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. You either accepted DCC, used a credit card or got hit by some software bug, in which case should have gone to the police

People need to spray in red paint ‘SCAM – DO NOT USE’ across the machines.

I used this Euronet ATM machine in Netherlands. Little did I know that I had to pay 12% markup fee. I withdrew 1000 euro and had to pay 120 euro which was completely ridiculous. DO NOT USE THESE ATMs anywhere.

Man I wish I had googled this before using the Euronet atm today in Rome. I tried a bank atm first but there was an error. In the evening we were out of money and I couldn’t find a bank anywhere so I finally used one of these ubiquitous machines (I had passed at least ten of them while traipsing around Rome today). I lost 24 euros to their “markup” fee. I tried to back out of the transaction once I saw that. But there was no way to back up or cancel the transaction. Expensive lesson learned. I’ve NEVER paid a markup at any (real) ATM in all my travels. This is such a scam.

Have recently returned from Split, Croatia I too was a victim of Euronet’s fraudulent practices. Took out an amount equivalent to Euros 200 and was charged Euros 30 in administration charges plus a higher exchange rate. There was no pre-warning of how much I would be charged in administration costs nor even the exchange rate they would be using. The only thing I was asked was whether I agreed to proceed with the transaction.There was no choice or option to cancel the conversion so I went ahead, assuming that it would be roughly the same as other machines I had used at the airport upon arrival, .As far as I’m concerned, they’re nothing but a bunch of frauds.I hope that Euronet ATM quickly go bankrupt and that all their staff come face to face with themselves in this life and that they rot in hell!

Euronet ATM in Greece just withheld my wife’s card, and terrible byrocracy to get it back. Don’t recommend Euronet ATMs either!

Just got ripped off in Milan for over 100 euros. I withdrew 1000 euros and suffered from their conversion scam (12‰) I complained but there is no one really their to talk too. Do share if familiar with an organization that can actually do something about that.

the same sitution, i have withdrew 1500 euros , 200 euros charged

Just landed at Edinburgh airport used the ATM in the baggage area and ended up paying $354 USD for 200 GBP! I was in a hurry and was ripped off. My fault, but these machines should be removed.

I’m Canadian. Just got to Gdansk, Poland and like an idiot, withdrew 2500 Zliloty from a Euronet ATM. That came to $998 Canadian, not only with their 17 Zloty fee, but also THIRTEEN PERCENT commission! Their machines are everywhere in the old city. Obviously paying off local government.

After being ripped off by a Euronet ATM in Budapest, Hungary for a large cash withdrawal in local Hungarian currency, I contacted Euronet via email explaining that the ATM deceptively appeared to be a bank ATM, did not explain that there was a large markeup to take out local currency.I received a nonsensical “we offer ‘dynamic currency transactions’ explanation of the transfer fee and 13% commission they calculated as an ‘exchange rate’ on my withdrawal. Nope..no refund.

When I returned to Budapest from Rome the following week, I noticed Euronet ATMs in both the Rome and Budapest airports in the departure and arrivals areas. I placed prominent notes on both warning of the “13%+ commissions”, I also approached a few people using them as I waited to board my flight in Rome, and when I waited for my luggage in Budapest. ALL the people I approached thanked me for telling them, and told me they though it was a bank ATM.

We need to have an army of people armed with a stock of large stickers to put on each Euronet ATM they see in Europe where they can prominently stick warnings of “13%+ commission”, “Non bank ATM”, and “large transaction fees” to warn fellow consumers. If you have been victimized by Euronet, or just plain don’t like seeing companies steal from the public, please join us help in spreading these stickers throughout Europe on all Euronet ATM machines.

Bummer.. Got bitten by this scam. Thought of withdrawing some Euros before leaving Budapest to Vienna. All the ATMS I approached were giving out HUFs. Seeing this one giving out euros threw me completely off guard and only when I saw the conversion rate much later, I saw the 12-15% markup.

There has to be a law to mark them as non-bank ATMs. Such a rip-off!

Conmen without masks
Just needed some Euro’s in Ardara Donegal at ATM (Euronet) never again. It needs a sign above it, official or unofficial SCAM
I got €150 cost £148.62 markup 12% there must be a way of stopping this ripoff

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