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Phuket expat skimmed for B100,000

PHUKET: Phuket expat Ali Goebel is issuing advice to other ATM users after B100,000 was skimmed from her bank account on Saturday while in Hua Hin – cover your hand when you’re entering your pincode.


Claire Connell

Monday 15 April 2013, 03:58PM


Ali Goebel.
Ali Goebel.

Mrs Goebel had B100,000 taken out of her Citibank account in 11 transactions on Saturday (April 13), with bank records showing the money was taken from an ATM in Vietnam.

She was alerted via an email from the bank, which questioned the multiple transactions. A phone call stopped any further withdrawals, but by that time the skimmers had already taken a large amount of cash.

“The withdrawals started at US$50, then up to US$85, then US$100, US$200 and then US$400. And finally it was stopped at B100,000. It is scary. It is lucky I caught it because that account had B200,000 in it and they could have got it all.”

Mrs Goebel, who has lived in Phuket for six years, said a cash fraud investigation was already under way by Citibank.

“I’m disputing the transactions, and I’ve sent some paperwork to them. It could take up to two months but I will get the money back.”

When she called the bank and asked how it might have happened, Ms Goebel was told the skimmers attach some sort of scanner to the ATM, and set up a camera so they can video you entering your pin.

She said that ATM users should use cover their hand when entering their pin on an ATM, to avoid being videoed if there was a camera set up.

“The bank also said it is better to use bank ATM machines as they are safer. I use the ATMs at Family Marts and 7-Elevens.”

Mrs Goebel said Citibank had been “excellent” to deal with, and she was thankful she would get the money returned.

Skimming from ATMs has been a hot topic on the island for many years.

Yesterday (April 14), two Frenchmen and a Tunisian were arrested for skimming.

Evidence collected by the police included a laptop computer with card reader, 70 ATM and credit cards with passwords written on them, and 6,000 Euros and B134,000 in cash.

Earlier this year, Australian Robert Millard made headlines when B90,000 was skimmed from his Krungsri bank account in April 2012, withdrawn in Pattaya while he was in Phuket.

Mr Millard is still trying to get the money back, but so far has been unsuccessful.

 

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