From Another Mexico Message Board


This afternoon my husband Stephen and I went to the Banamex ATM machine to withdraw money. As my husband entered the ATM room a Mexican man came in behind him. Stephen offered to let the man go first, but the man stepped back. The ATM machine did not work, it did not give the money and the transaction could not be cancelled. The man stepped up, too close, and asked if Stephen wanted dollars or pesos. As Stephen removed his ATM card from the machine, the man quickly slid his card into the machine. Stephen knew immediately that somehow he had been ripped off. As soon as we got home, we checked our online information and $867 had been withdrawn at the Banamex ATM in Los Barriles. The transaction has been reported to the fraud unit of our bank, and we are reporting this to the manager of Banamex. BEWARE!!!

Anybody figure out how the thief did it? Fulano thinks he knows how.

The thief probably was working with another person. One stood by the ATM and another watched for Gringo suckers heading for the Banamex ATM machine. When a target was spotted, the one by the ATM machine was signaled and he put his ATM/Debit card into the ATM machine and told it he was making a deposit of 10,000 pesos. $867 works out to 10,000 pesos at the current exchange rate. When the ATM asked him if the deposit was cash, check or from another account, he told the ATM he was transferring money from another account. Then he left the ATM while it waiting for the other ATM card, which would be  for the account that was transferring 10,000 pesos to the thieves.

The first thief left before Stephen got to the ATM and handed off his ATM card to the second thief who followed right behind Stephen to the ATM. Stephen put in his ATM card, punched in his pin — thereby authorizing the transfer from his account —  and then waited for the ATM to ask him how much money he wanted to withdraw. But it never asked him that question as it was finishing up the transfer. Stephen probably could not understand what the ATM was saying in Spanish. The second thief put his ATM card back in and finished the transfer of the 10,000 pesos to his account.


How They Steal Your Money When You Use an ATM

This video, in Spanish, is about the arrest of 18-year old Juan Adolfo Zopena, who was caught in the act of attaching electronic devices to an ATM in Tijuana. It is a very sophisticated operation. He has two devices. One is a card reader that fits right over the existing ATM card reader and captures the information on the magnetic strip on the debit card. It looks like it is a normal part of the ATM. The second device is a micro-camera, iPod Nano and batteries mounted behind a plastic part that looks just like the top part of the ATM. The camera records the user’s PIN number as he puts it into the keyboard, and stores the images on the iPod. The thief later comes back and removes the devices, creates clone ATM cards, and with the PIN number empties out the unsuspecting victim’s bank account.