In a seemingly unintentional ongoing series of reports, more banking information is trickling in that should be passed along. Connecting the Dots has been actively doing research and what we have found is of concern for all who may want to visit Thailand.
Thailand has long been a hotspot for copy this and copy that. Getting a copy of your bank account number along with your PIN is no exception. In and around Bangkok criminals have been fitting ATM machines with false faces. Seeing That Thais are very good with handwork and making things that show great detail, a fake ATM keypad is very possible. There have been several reports of emptied bank accounts with Thais being victims.
This is a concern for the banks as the culprit appears to be the bank’s own ATM machine. This leads everyone to be wary of ATM machines, and in particular the ones that are isolated at night.
ATM machines are everywhere and in the places where foreign tourist visit, there are hundreds that have sprung up over the years. They are of all sizes shapes and colors. In fact it is common to see clusters of 3 or more ATM machines from different banks all in a row. Because of this it becomes easy to modify a machine unnoticed. Also because of the huge number of machines, more time can pass before the machine signals the bank to come and replenish the cash supply.
Considering the beating banks are getting world wide with the global economic meltdown, and the risk of becoming insolvent, cash thefts from Thailand are truly an unneeded headache. So what many banks have done is simply pull the plug on Thailand.
Pulling the plug simply means your ATM card will not work in any machine even if it says it is on your banking network like Cirrus or any other. That can very quickly ruin your day if you are a tourist thousands of miles from home, standing in front of an ATM machine with an empty wallet.
So because of that Connecting the Dots highly suggests you add the following items to you check list before heading overseas.
- Check with your bank and see if any banking restrictions are in place.
- Establish a work around of getting your hands on cash. Travelers checks are a good choice.
- Get contact numbers to call for help and support.
There is no reason why you should have to endure this potential aggravation and stress. Just have a plan ‘B” in place and enjoy your time away from home.