Although Los Cabos is one of the safest cities in all of Mexico, there are still people who are looking to scam both locals and tourists. Los Cabos authorities recently put out a warning to locals and tourists alike describing the new way that scammers are operating. The way that they are gathering data from unsuspecting victims at ATMs is rather basic.
According to local authorities, scammers are literally roaming around ATMs in Los Cabos like vultures. They are usually walking around in at least pairs. They’re going to try and lean in to catch the person’s pin number first. If they are able to get that done then they will set in motion the rest of the plan to be able to steal the person’s card.
What they do at this point is try to get the person to come back to the ATM saying that the sesion wasn’t finalized, or that you didn’t remove your card. Once the person turns back to be able to check on this issue they’ll quickly pickpocket them or do a card switch. If that all goes according to plan, the person who got their card stolen could have their funds easily withdrawn.
Best Ways To Be Able To Avoid These Types of Scams
What authorities are recommending to be able to avoid falling victim to any type of scam is to make sure that you don’t visit the ATM on your own. Instead get one of your trip companions to come into the ATM booth with you. Also, they recommend that people avoid dark and lonely ATM spots. A good idea would also be to follow some of the general advice that has always been given to prevent your pin number from being discovered by other people.
You want to make sure that you cover up the keyboard when you’re inputting that information. Although it may be a good idea to avoid lonely ATMs, it would seem that this scam strategy may very well work better in busy spots where these scammers can get a better look at your pin number without seeming suspicious.
With that in mind, a better idea would just be to watch your back when you’re headed to an ATM machine. Also, make sure you double check that you don’t forget your card in the machine or leave before the machine has instructed that it’s safe to do so.
Avoiding Hefty Commissions When You Go To An ATM
Pretty much all of the ATMs in Mexico now operated under the system called “Red”. This system allows an ATM from virtually any bank or financial institution to get funds to people who insert cards from other banks into the machine. Having said this, ATMs from different banks will charge fees to get customers from other banks their cash.
According to Condusef, the government agency that monitors the activity of financial institutions, Santander, Banamex, and ScotiaBank ATMs have the highest fees in Mexico. In fact, ATMs of the same bank at different locations can charge different fees. That may be something to keep an eye on as well. BanRegio, CI Banco, and Walmart’s Bank charge some of the lowest fees in the country. Heading to your local Walmart to make a withdrawal can actually be a good idea as it seems less likely that scammers will be hanging around like vultures in there.