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Watch your purse warning


MtnMama
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This happened to me at SuperLake, but it could have been anywhere. A man came up to me and started babbling about some products. Asking odd questions ... I felt a tug on my purse, spun around and found a young man with his hand on my purse. I grabbed his belt loop and started yelling and they ran away. Nothing was taken.

I have a large fabric purse that I wear over my shoulder. When I am shopping, I loop it around my neck and set it in my grocery cart. My wallet is attached to the inside of the purse by a cord so I don't leave it somewhere. It would be hard to steal. So a heads up - don't leave your purse by itself in the grocery cart and be aware of too friendly strangers.

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Wow, MtnMama, good for you. Sounds like the guys who got my wallet last Thursday in Walmart. An odd looking man got my attention. I could not understand a word he was saying. He waved first one item from a shelf and then another and then abruptly tossed them aside and ran off. I turned back to my cart. My bag looked untouched. I didn't know my wallet was gone until I went to pay for my things at checkout.  I went out to my car on the unlikely chance my wallet was there. Of course, it wasn't.

I returned to the store and told management about the theft. I said I I knew others had been robbed in their store. I got the reaction I expected from Walmart: They could not have cared less. They said I'd have to go to the police.

Once home, I called my bank. In a very short time the thieves were able to empty my checking account with my Visa debit card. Their first two purchases in Walmart cost $834 USD each. They went to about nine other places including Soriana.

I was out  the cash that was in the wallet and faced the hassle of having to replace my driver's license and my INM residency card. Then, two days later a woman called to say she'd found my wallet outside of Walmart. One of my IDs was a Lake Chapala Society membership (expired). She went to the trouble of calling LCS  to get my telephone number, rang me for my address and showed up at my door soon after.  I am so grateful to her.

Lexy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Lexy said:

Wow, MtnMama, good for you. Sounds like the guys who got my wallet last Thursday in Walmart. An odd looking man got my attention. I could not understand a word he was saying. He waved first one item from a shelf and then another and then abruptly tossed them aside and ran off. I turned back to my cart. My bag looked untouched. I didn't know my wallet was gone until I went to pay for my things at checkout.  I went out to my car on the unlikely chance my wallet was there. Of course, it wasn't.

I returned to the store and told management about the theft. I said I I knew others had been robbed in their store. I got the reaction I expected from Walmart: They could not have cared less. They said I'd have to go to the police.

Once home, I called my bank. In a very short time the thieves were able to empty my checking account with my Visa debit card. Their first two purchases in Walmart cost $834 USD each. They went to about nine other places including Soriana.

I was out  the cash that was in the wallet and faced the hassle of having to replace my driver's license and my INM residency card. Then, two days later a woman called to say she'd found my wallet outside of Walmart. One of my IDs was a Lake Chapala Society membership (expired). She went to the trouble of calling LCS  to get my telephone number, rang me for my address and showed up at my door soon after.  I am so grateful to her.

Lexy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do they use your debit card without knowing your PIN # ?  I can't use my debit card  without it 

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Wow, MtnMama, good for you. Sounds like the guys who got my wallet last Thursday in Walmart. An odd looking man got my attention. I could not understand a word he was saying. He waved first one item from a shelf and then another and then abruptly tossed them aside and ran off. I turned back to my cart. My bag looked untouched. I didn't know my wallet was gone until I went to pay for my things at checkout.  I went out to my car on the unlikely chance my wallet was there. Of course, it wasn't.

I returned to the store and told management about the theft. I said I I knew others had been robbed in their store. I got the reaction I expected from Walmart: They could not have cared less. They said I'd have to go to the police.

Once home, I called my bank. In a very short time the thieves were able to empty my checking account with my Visa debit card. Their first two purchases in Walmart cost $834 USD each. They went to about nine other places including Soriana.

I was out  the cash that was in the wallet and faced the hassle of having to replace my driver's license and my INM residency card. Then, two days later a woman called to say she'd found my wallet outside of Walmart. One of my IDs was a Lake Chapala Society membership (expired). She went to the trouble of calling LCS  to get my telephone number, rang me for my address and showed up at my door soon after.  I am so grateful to her.

Lexy
 

The management at Walmart were probably shaking their head in disbelief and thinking to themselves here we have another stupid expat.. Anyone who leaves their bag in the cart and turns their back .. I won’t say it but   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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51 minutes ago, ea93105 said:

How do they use your debit card without knowing your PIN # ?  I can't use my debit card  without it 

Right. But these guys, like other thieves of credit cards, don't try to withdraw funds from an ATM. The go shopping. Clerks don't ask for ID even on high-prices purchases.

Lexy

 

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1 minute ago, Lexy said:

Right. But these guys, like other thieves of credit cards, don't try to withdraw funds from an ATM. The go shopping. Clerks don't ask for ID even on high-prices purchases.

Lexy

 

No ID asked for when I use mine either  but I don't understand how they can process a transaction without using the card reader which also requires a pin#

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They must have the pin to use the card, but, sadly, there are some debit cards that can be used as a credit card, without the pin. I don't think that will be taken out of your checking account when it is charged.

 

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This is what happened to me in the parking lot of Walmart in Nuevo Vallarta:

I had just gotten back to my car with my purchases, and loaded them in. I was in the driver's seat and had just put my key in the ignition. Now my key and my wallet, like Mtn Mama, are both attached to the inside of my bag. So my bag was next to my driver's seat, and attached to the key in the ignition.

A guy stopped at my open window and said there were some cards laying under the back of my car, were they mine? (I should have known better after 18 years in Mexico) So I got out and looked on the ground by the back of my car,. where sure enough, there were some cards, but they turned out to be used up store gift cards, not mine (bait). I got back in my car and drove away. When I got to the next place, I saw that my wallet was gone- the other half of the thief duo had obviously reached in the open passenger side window when I was behind the car and tried to grab my bag, or the wallet out of it, but it was all attached. So they pulled so hard on the wallet that the little clip that attached my wallet to the inside of my bag was broken in half.

About an hour later a woman called whose 8 year old son had seen my wallet laying on the edge of the parking lot, with all the cards strewn around. She said she first told him not to touch it, but then saw my INM card, driver's license, etc. So she called and I met her. The only thing missing aside from the 200 pesos in cash were my Bancomer debit card and my Canadian Scotiabank debit card. I figured they'd try to use the Bancomer one first, so I first called to cancel that card, which it turned out they hadn't used. Then when I contacted Scotiabank Canada, I found out they had already charged over $800 Canadian on it. 

After talking to the fraud dept, I found out why they didn't need the pin- the charge had been made through an app called "Señor Pago" (I thought it was a joke, but it's very much real). All they need to enter is the card number and the three digit security number on the back.

I did eventually get that $800 credited back to my Canadian bank account, which amazed me.

 

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I had my wallet stolen several years ago at Soriana in Chapala. They were very good, I didn't even have a sense of anyone immediately around me. I only had a small amount of cash in the wallet, maybe $300 pesos, but it also contained my Oregon drivers' license. That was irreplaceable and its loss meant I had to get a Mexican drivers' license, no small deal at that time. Fortunately, my wallet also contained my LCS card, and just like MtMama, I got a call that the wallet had been found. No money left, of course, but it contained the all-important driver's license. 

I learned some lessons from this:

1) When I go anywhere that requires a drivers' license, Immigration doc, or credit/debit card, or substantial cash, I carry them in a security wallet that fits down inside of my pants with a metal loop that fits around my belt. Very difficult, if not impossible, to steal.

2) I also carry a normal wallet in my regular pocket as a decoy. It contains a small amount of cash and my easily replaceable LCS card.

3) I pay cash for everything and never use the credit card except for on-line purchases on secure sites. I never use the debit card except to take money out of an ATM inside of a bank. Except on those occasions, I keep both cards safely locked up at home. I would never consider carrying them around in my regular wallet and using them for everyday purchases. It's way too easy to get the cards stolen and then be cleaned out, just like MtMama. If anyone thinks my strategy is just too inconvenient, consider the inconvenience of not only losing very substantial amounts of money but having to replace all those important cards and documents. Given Murphy's Law, such a theft would naturally occur at the worst possible moment.

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17 hours ago, ea93105 said:

How do they use your debit card without knowing your PIN # ?  I can't use my debit card  without it 

Just tap the card on the card reader.

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First according to every expert never pay with a debit card. Unless you are going to withdraw cash leave it at home.  Think of it as carrying a signed blank check. 

Ladies. Unless it is absolutly necessary don't walk around with a purse and wallet. All you need is one ccard and your ID 

A ccredit card can freeze the charge while they investigate. Debit they need to investigate before returning money to your account which could take weeks.

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Anyone that has lived at Lakeside for at least a year should have recognized that Debit Cards are for ATM only here, and need to stay at home unless you are going to get money that day. Also Credit Cards are for online only, unless major purchase. Otherwise, cash. Failure to follow these guidelines, you accept the risk and the lost.

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16 minutes ago, Jim Bowie said:

Anyone that has lived at Lakeside for at least a year should have recognized that Debit Cards are for ATM only here, and need to stay at home unless you are going to get money that day. Also Credit Cards are for online only, unless major purchase. Otherwise, cash. Failure to follow these guidelines, you accept the risk and the lost.

I only use ccards in Mexico. My app has the option to block the card instantly. I receive a message when the charge is accepted. Far safer than walking around with thousands of pesos in my pocket. 

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33 minutes ago, Jim Bowie said:

Anyone that has lived at Lakeside for at least a year should have recognized that Debit Cards are for ATM only here, and need to stay at home unless you are going to get money that day. Also Credit Cards are for online only, unless major purchase. Otherwise, cash. Failure to follow these guidelines, you accept the risk and the lost.

I agree with you on Debit Cards.  But your statement on credit cards is out of date.  

When we lived here fulltime from 2008-2012, we NEVER used our credit card because MEX businesses were still using carbon copied paper when running the receipt through their mechanical slide device.  Those paper slips and carbon paper could often get into the wrong hands.  

But when we returned to lakeside in 2017, the times had changed.  Secure CHIP reading had finally arrived in MEX!!  We had to furnish and rehab our 2017 home and we used cc's to buy all sorts of fixtures and furniture.  We would ask to see the CHIP reader before committing to a cc purchase.  Everyone had one!  While locally we use cash at restaurants so they do not incur the cc fees, when we travel around MEX we use our cc's at restaurants, AFTER we ascertain they have a CHIP reader and that they will bring it to our table.  They always do!  

US issued cc's are covered for any illegal transactions that exceed $50 USD.  However we have had over the years, two instances of unauthorized charges while living in the US.  Both times we reported the illegal activity promptly and both times the banks forgave that $50 threshold.  Here is the law on US cc's and unauthorized use.  

FYI, we have both our cc's and ATM cards set to alert us of each and every transaction in real time.  And we NEVER let the cc leave our sight.  They either have the the CHIP reader in their cash register system, or they bring the reader to the sales counter (at a store) or we won't use our cc.  

Now that I think about it, I have not seen a carbon paper cc device in MEX since we returned in 2017.  Progress.  Poco a poco.  

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0332-credit-debit-and-charge-cards

Quote

Unauthorized charges — If your card is used without your permission, you can be held responsible for up to $50 per card. If you report the loss before the card is used, you can’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges. To minimize your liability, report the loss as soon as possible. Some issuers have 24-hour toll-free telephone numbers to accept emergency information. It’s a good idea to follow-up with a letter to the issuer — include your account number, the date you noticed your card missing, and the date you reported the loss.Keep a record — in a safe place separate from your cards — of your account numbers, expiration dates, and the telephone numbers of each card issuer so you can report a loss quickly.

 

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32 minutes ago, Mostlylost said:

I only use ccards in Mexico. My app has the option to block the card instantly. I receive a message when the charge is accepted. Far safer than walking around with thousands of pesos in my pocket. 

Sometimes I am amazed at what you say: thousands of pesos for a typical day at Lakeside? Really? :D So, if they steal your purse at Walmart, can they use your CCs if you also have your phone in your purse too? I understand you cannot lose more than 50$, but you lose those cards, so...   :D

 

 

 

 

 

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First I don't carry 

3 hours ago, Jim Bowie said:

Sometimes I am amazed at what you say: thousands of pesos for a typical day at Lakeside? Really? :D So, if they steal your purse at Walmart, can they use your CCs if you also have your phone in your purse too? I understand you cannot lose more than 50$, but you lose those cards, so...   :D

 

 

 

 

 

First ....as I recommended ..... Don't carry purse while shopping.  My wallet holds my INE, Drivers license and 1 Credit card. 

If lost or stolen card is reported in 24 hours you don't lose $50.00. You lose ZERO

My Credit card requires a PIN to charge anything.... My app notifies me of any charge in a few seconds. ....My app can freeze the card instantly. 

Do I carry over a $1000 pesos? never.  But many days I do charge a lot more than $1000 pesos on my CCard.  Today for example I charged over $4000.   

I filled my 20 gallon gas tank a few times last year with the points I get for using my card. 

I have been using credit cards since the early '70's   I have never lost one cent using a credit card. I have lost cash more than once in that same time period. 

Welcome to 2020!! 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mostlylost said:

First I don't carry 

First ....as I recommended ..... Don't carry purse while shopping.  My wallet holds my INE, Drivers license and 1 Credit card. 

If lost or stolen card is reported in 24 hours you don't lose $50.00. You lose ZERO

My Credit card requires a PIN to charge anything.... My app notifies me of any charge in a few seconds. ....My app can freeze the card instantly. 

Do I carry over a $1000 pesos? never.  But many days I do charge a lot more than $1000 pesos on my CCard.  Today for example I charged over $4000.   

I filled my 20 gallon gas tank a few times last year with the points I get for using my card. 

I have been using credit cards since the early '70's   I have never lost one cent using a credit card. I have lost cash more than once in that same time period. 

Welcome to 2020!! 

 

 

 

I've never lost anything from CC use either and I am older than you. :D  I don't carry my purse while shopping either. Too much of a target. Only use a Debit at the ATM, nowhere else. I do carry some"chump change" here in Mexico, but NOB, never, for many years. Love those "points". :D

 

 

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The crooks take things very seriously and are generally 3 steps ahead of the mark. Several years ago we were in Italy and had been warned about the gypsies and were ready for them with money belts. While on the subway a group of them surrounded us as we stood near a doorway. One pushed a baby right in my wife's face and as she gently tried to keep it away I noticed a hand come over her shoulder and start to unzip her jacket. I reacted by karate chopping that hand but much to my surprise just as I did I felt a hand LEAVING my front pocket! She wasn't the mark, I was! Luckily I only had reading glasses in there and they were not taken. When I looked around everyone looked harmless so there was no chance of alleging who done it. Oh, there were 2 Italian soldiers nearby and they were laughing their a**** off. A money belt was our only defense on that trip and they saved the day more than once. Damn inconvenient so once back in Mexico we never used them again but hearing these stories...if you've been targeted they are way ahead of your thinking.

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