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Credit Card Thief at Mega


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#1 Coz2wonder

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:44 AM

I just got a call from American Express...somebody at Mega (today) tried to use my card to purchase $580 usd's worth of goods.

This had to be somebody inside the store who tried to use the card, because the card is in my wallet, and I have not set foot in any stores in the past week.

They, or the person they sold the number to tried to charge $178usd hotel (Mx hotel) bill "Hotel Silva Palace" as well.

I only use my AMX card at Mega.

I am going to speak with the manager at Mega to alert them to my situation.

check your account, somebody has gone rogue.
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#2 nauticab

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:15 PM

i worked in debit and credit card fraud dept and the hackers are quite good at getting your card info from any source, making counterfeit cards all over the world, and have absolutely NOTHING to do with where you use your card or where you live. or even if you ever used your card at all!
which is why all credit card companies and banks have a fraud prevention department. we (since this was my job back in the day) were the ones who would call you to confirm unusual activity. if we didn't reach you, we would simply block the card and do a thorough check to make sure the person calling to unblock it was the true acct holder.
one of the quickest signs of theft or counterfeiting was to confirm the card was active....how? go to a gas station and run a $1 auth when you pump gas. if it went thru, then BAM, let's go shopping! then you will see major shopping sprees like you just had paula.
almost all credit cards have a theft or fraud clause stating that if you report your card stolen or reduced amount in your acct within 48 hours, you are NOT responsible for any of the charges made. all banks have a HUGE fraud detection "negative" budget for losses. but if you tell them you lost the card monday, and today is friday, and you are just now reporting it, you will be liable for some of the charges.
good for amex for calling you. bank of america did this to me when i was in the states last christmas shopping away.

so, it may or may NOT have been anyone or anything to do with mega. international counterfeiting is huge. just watch your acct. the hotel you mention seems to be in greece.
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#3 Coz2wonder

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:56 PM

I have NOT used this card in two years ANYWHERE ELSE but Mega. I now have the date, time, and transaction number to give to the manager.

I will say, AMX is very proactive. They called ME, I didn't even know my card was trying to be used.

As for the Hotel...it is listed as a Mex company as per AMX. Many companies operate under a DBA which has nothing to do with a name we may be familiar with.

I think it's a good reminder, (which I will do more of) check your CC bills, it happens everywhere, all the time.
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#4 Antonio123

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:27 PM

There was an attempted debit card theft at Mega today at about 12:30 this afternoon. I was standing with my friend in the checkout line. While my friend was signing her debit card receipt for groceries, the cashier covertly handed her debit card to a young Mexican female standing in line behind her, appearing to be a customer. My friend saw this happen and asked the cashier "where in my card?" The cashier's response was to shurg her shoulders. My friend then said "You gave my card to her," pointing at the young Mexican female behind her in line. We then saw the young Mexican female "customer" quickly walk out from behind us toward the escalator. I grabbed her left arm and asked several times "What is in your hand?" As I held her by her left arm I grabbed her right hand with my free hand. She had my friend's debit card hidden under a receipt but she had made no purchase. I then took the card away from her and loudly and repeatedly said "What are you doing?" I continued holding her arm and called loudly "we need security here." A man, whom I suppose was a store manager, quickly approached and we told him what had happened. He shrugged and said "The cashier is just confused." My friend and I know from our observatiions of that the cashier was not confused and that it was in fact a pre-planned scheme to steal a debit card.

I have lived on the island and have shopped at Mega for over a year and am shocked and ashamed that this happened to my friend who visits me often here.
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#5 Antonio123

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:31 PM

I failed to mention in my reply that I am a female.
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#6 jic811

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:05 PM

This is bad for Mega! We are coming back to Coz in August and when there do alot of shopping at Mega as most of us do. What should be done? Does management care? I would hate to see them be boycotted and the word put out to locals and tourist. It appears ex-pats being targeted. Mega is a great store but we do not have to shop there.
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#7 nauticab

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:13 PM

bad move by the manager, really bad. antonio123, you NEED to call the radio station to make a verbal complaint about this. did you get the cashier's name? if so, POST IT PLEASE.
confused my ass.

and paula, you never have to use your card anywhere for it to be counterfeited. it is a computer thing and they can get a schematic of digits and make the fraudulent cards. from anywhere in the world. i seriously doubt they stole your card number from mega to make the purchases. i had customers who never used their card at all when i worked at the bank and they were counterfeited from nigeria and other random parts of the world.

amex and other banks SHOULD call you, that is what the fraud prevention department does. i did it for years.
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#8 Charles

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:22 PM

That sounds like the police should have been called and a criminal complaint filed against the cashier. It could have been a delicate matter to detain a "suspect" who had a stolen debit card in her hand. Maybe given the reported problems with the HSBC ATM, there is indeed an in house problem at Mega. A manager that made light of the situation indicates it is more than one mere rogue cashier.

There was an arrest recently (in the past 10 days?) of a group of Romanians obtaining data from skimmers and cloning cards on the mainland.
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#9 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:50 PM

Maybe the manager is training those cashiers.
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#10 Antonio123

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:24 AM

In the confusion of the moment my friend and I failed to observe the cashier's nametag. However, the "manager" who came to the "rescue" is English speaking and has often assisted me when I had questions about products in Mega. He would know which cashier was involved in yesterday's events. I was so caught up in the frenzy of the moment that I doubt that I or my friend could ID, with absolute accuracy, either the cashier or the "customer" who took off with the debit card. The "manager" who came to our aide is a balding Mexican man about 5'4" tall and of average build. Age is always a difficult thing for me to assess about a person. He appeared to me to be anywhere between 40-55 years of age. In retrospect I regret that my friend and I didn't create a bigger scene than we did. The store was busy and many customers and employees observed what transpired. I caution anyone, ex-pat or vacationer, to be on guard when making purchases by credit card at Mega. Hopefully, they will put a stop to this scam soon. One other thing I reminding myself of is that these types of scams can and do happen just as often in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world.
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#11 guitarist

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:32 AM

its maybe better that we all use cash in mega an awful situation for all concerned and the manager in Mega should be made aware that we wont go in if it continues ....
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:36 AM

Just returned from Mega. Don't expect the manager to be interested, or to engage in anything.

There is one wonderful employee (same description as above)who always helps me out in the store. I asked him to translate for me to the store manager what had taken place in my situation.

Needless to say, this wonderful employee had to make about 10 laps trying to get the manager to even speak to him, let alone give me the time of day.

The outcome was that the manager said "NO, this could not happen"...end of story. The wonderful employee said, sorry, "the manager is busy", and that was the end of that.

As I was leaving the store, I observed the manager sitting in the pizza area of the store, talking with the Deli manager...

So the moral of the story is, keep receipts, watch your CC bills, and don't look for support from this store manager.

It is happening everywhere.
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#13 Carey

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 11:02 AM

In the 10 years I've lived on the island I have never once used a debit or credit card ANYWHERE. I just don't trust enough down here to do that. I was beginning to think I was being alarmist but now I see I was not.

Don't kick yourself for not making a bigger scene, Antonio. Sounds like you made a purty good one and I wish I'd been a fly on the wall. Also in one way it had a happy ending because now everyone who reads this is forewarned and it will be more difficult for them to pull this off in the future, less opportunities.

Actually, I did use my credit card one single time about 8 years ago at the Chedraui. I did it on purpose to see what would happen. They took my credit card away to the desk and brought it back about five minutes later. With no receipt. I ask them for the receipt and they shrugged. I was insistent so they took me over to the desk where there was a great trashcan pile of receipts with mine on the top. That was itsky for me on using plastic.

I would tend to agree that a Mega employee might have copped Paula's card BECAUSE the purchases were all made within Mexico. If it was some international hacker ring, why would the card show up for a Mexican vacation jaunt? That's just the kind of thing a middle class store manager or whatever would think to charge on a stolen credit card.
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#14 dawnb

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:13 PM

Wow guys, my head is spinning! What insanity!

We always use our CC for anything that will take it and have never had a problem. I always call our bank and CC companies prior to any vacation. Once I forgot to call, and my small town bank rendered my ATM card useless. I had to call them collect to have them reinstate it. I am happy they are so vigilant! Will definitely keep a close eye on the the checkers from now on.

Antonio, you have a good lesson for us all. If something's amiss we need to deal with it!
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#15 Coz2wonder

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:24 PM

can you say DOG-PILE.

I lost nothing, but Antonio had a whole other situation.

I had Greg read Antonio post and he said because of her post, he will be much more aware of who is around him, and me as well.

I have found using AMX is the best. They use an algorithm that spots the out-liars...that's how they caught my problem. (an out-liar is something above, or below the norm).

Wish someone knew Management at the home office at Mega. Something is wrong, and we are not getting local management support.
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#16 jic811

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:38 PM

I sent e-mail to thier corporate saying they have a problem in Cozumel Mega and gave them the discussion web address.
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#17 Antonio123

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:33 PM

In reference to the attempted debit card theft at Mega, my friend found her receipt. The following information is on the receipt: Le Atendio: FATIMA G.P. I think this means that Fatima is the name of the cashier who checked out my friend and handed her card to the "customer" behind her.
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#18 Antonio123

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:35 PM

Thanks for all the input. I remain cautious.
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#19 willycat

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 11:19 PM

Just returned from Cozumel July 31st. Visited the Mega 4 times. The RCI timeshare people are stationed upstairs in the store at the escalator. They will we wearing a polo shirt with logo & nametag. Say NO and walk away. This is my 12th time in Cozumel by ship or hotel. Normally stay at Scuba Club, old Galopago. Stayed at Park Royal due to many non-diving tv-watching family members. Park Royal was crawling with the timeshare folks just wanting to give you a 90 minute presentation over breakfast. They present themselves as your 'resort helpers' for activities & info but only if you sit thru their spill or buy a dive, tour, etc package from them. The guy stationed up at the hotel checkin desk was extremely rude to my brother trying to pressure him while my brother was just walking by. My brother told him that he wasn't going to buy his d@mn package & to leave him alone.

As for the debit/credit card issues, I can see this happening as there were 2 clerks at almost every Mega checkout. There is also a USA ATM downtown, please everyone avoid using any ATM on the island. Unfortunately one of my relatives did not heed our warnings & used her Debit card several places on the island. I will be calling here in the AM after reading this post.

Cozumel is my favorite vacation spot as we are divers & I will return but never to the Park Royal.
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#20 Carey

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:26 AM

I personally have never had a problem using the Banamex and Santander ATM machines with my US bank debit card. I live here and have been withdrawing money this way for 10 years. It is not unusual for me to withdraw money several times per week many weeks of the year. So I have done this hundreds and hundreds of times.

It is, however, a good idea to check your account from time to time. You should be able to set this up to look at transactions online so you can even check while still on your vacation.

As for Park Royal, it's in bankruptcy proceedings for whatever that's worth in terms of the level of service and general upkeep of the facility.
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