Glancing over July's bank statement yesterday, I noticed some huge withdrawals on the same day - in the UK. After I was back in the States. What the?
Yes, folks, it seems my cashpoint/ATM cum Mastercard has been cloned. To be honest, I was initially very confused. I mean, I still have the card in my possession so how could anyone possibly have been withdrawing money on it. I remember the last withdrawal I made in the UK and there was no one around except my children. They came back to the States with me so I know it's not one of them running lose with mommy's card.
My mother rang the local police who are now all over it. They deduced immediately that it had been cloned. Indeed, there was a lapse of a few days between my last withdrawal and the start of the rampage, meaning that someone has made a duplicate. They did a test run with a $50 purchase in Marks and Spencer before making three withdrawals the next day to the tune of $1,000 and another three a couple of days later for the same amounts. Given that I wasn't able to cancel the card till yesterday, Lord knows what else they did.
Fortunately I can prove that I was back on this side of the pond by then so I shouldn't be liable for most of it.
I would normally beat myself up for being careless but in this instance, there was nothing I could do.
In future however, I am advised only to make withdrawals from cash machines that are owned by banks. The ATM/cash point I used isn't owned by any particular bank and according to the police, these are more likely to be fitted out with devices to record all card information, including your password.
So friends, I'm using this annoying experience to put you all o your guard. It can happen to anyone, so take steps to protect yourself.