credit card fraud

Posted By: SeaMolly

credit card fraud - 02/20/03 04:11 AM

Visited AC a couple of months ago and am still sorting out bad credit card charges - mostly two or three extra charges for restaurants, all in different amounts and on days we did not eat there. Wondering if this is an isolated instance or if others have had similar problems. frown
Posted By: Axeman

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 05:03 AM

To those who have not been to AC...
Never heard of this before...
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 05:10 AM

SeaMolly: You certainly should name the offending restaurants. Otherwise you cast a shadow over all the others who would never allow this to happen.
Posted By: denverdan

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 05:48 AM

Never EVER happened to us and we been there... well... a few times. wink AND to many, many places using a CC mostly.
I'd totally do what Jesse has recommended to do, ya got to back it up. (No offence intended to you)
I sure hope ya get stuff sorted out!
Posted By: B_b_f_b

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 05:51 AM

Molly please email me. Marty has forwarded my email to you. Thanks.
Posted By: Islenutt

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 05:53 AM

I used my credit card in many places and never had any trouble...
Posted By: JohnnyK

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 06:30 AM

Hi SeaMolly,

I will be returning to AC in about 3 weeks. Could you please post the names of the restaurants which you were experiencing credit card problems? I want to keep an eye out too...Thanks.

JohnnyK laugh
Posted By: toad

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 07:57 AM

don't'll be like playing roulette...
Posted By: Marty

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 02:35 PM

never had any trouble with this either, probably just mistakes
Posted By: SeaMolly

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 02:43 PM

Sorry but in fairness I can't name the establishments because they might not have anything to do with the problem. Sounds like these were isolated cases.
Posted By: GailM

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 04:18 PM

I am currently trying to clear up an unauthorized charge to my cc too. I spend several months a year in Belize and it is just easier keeping records by using a cc.
Posted By: toad

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 05:10 PM

its easier not keeping records with cashola
Posted By: nuc

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 06:54 PM

Are you sure the extra charges aren't sercharges (sp?) or currency conversion fees that the credit card companies often add to foreign transactions?
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 07:04 PM

Many times the charges do not get posted on the same date as you had the service. Sometimes there can be a big lag time - like a month or more. It is not usually the case these days but years back I never got charged for things till a month or 2 later.
Posted By: GailM

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 07:08 PM

I am fully aware of all the charges that can be added on, lapsed time for billing, etc. This is totally different.
Posted By: seabreeze

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 08:15 PM

I have also had credit card problems from use in Belize. Sometimes double charges and last week it was a cash advance that I never did. You should be very carefull and look over your statement carefully. This happens.
Posted By: Wendy

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 08:38 PM

Please, please get in touch with the places that the charges appear to have come from before calling fraud!! The Atlantic Bank did major system (computer) changeover in late December and is having some difficulties with charges going onto credit cards that really didn't. We have had 3 guests let us know and have been able to clear it up. It MAY not be that you are being intentionally screwed....
Posted By: sarahsmile

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 08:49 PM

Hey seabreeze...i never got charged for my cash advance from January in SanIgnacio...did u get my charge by accident? SERIOUSLY!
Posted By: toad

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 08:53 PM

cause if you're gonna get screwed it better be intentional
Posted By: ChrisW

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 11:06 PM

I accidently screwed myself once and I can assure you that it wasn't any fun. Now that I have drawn you in smile I was attaching a mail box to a post and the screwdriver slipped. The damn thing went right up my nose and scraped along the cartilage that runs down the middle. It was a bloody mess, but I could garner no sympathy from anyone because they would burst out laughing when I would tell them what happened.
Posted By: evening

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 11:31 PM

to avoid weirdness, I always call my credit card companies, and give them my travel dates. This enables you to charge things overseas (when the cc companies think it may be fraud and refuse to put charge through) - or when someone tries to use your card # after you depart whatever country it is. Especially in Mexico, where this kind of fraud is rampant.

FYI, American Express charges 2% for charges in other currencies - and Visa charges 1%, plus the charge from the bank that issued your card - usually another 2%. I always get cash from ATMs and avoid using card, unless the US dollar is really strong - but everything I read tells me ATMs in AC don't take cards not issued by Belize banks.
Posted By: susangg

Re: credit card fraud - 02/20/03 11:41 PM

Credit card fraud is a possibility everywhere. Remember that every time you charge something, a piece of paper is created that has your card number on it. It's amazing that there is not more fraud than there actually is.
We have been using credit cards and writing checks in Belize for 11 years and have only had a problem twice.
The first time was a check we wrote for property insurance that was stolen somewhere between the mailbox here in the US and Regent Insurance. A year and a half later, the check for $700 showed up at my bank in the amount of $7,000 and had been all over the world. The bank actually processed it despite the incredibly obvious forgeries, luckily it bounced because I did not have $7,000 in my account. Among the many banks it passed through was BCCI in Pakistan (known terrorist and contra bank).
The second bad experience I had was a persistent fraudulent charge that showed up on a Belize Bank credit card statement. It took a YEAR to get the bank to cancel it and we had to cancel our cards to get the charge cancelled. The bank seemed uninterested in following up.
We have had a similar experience in the US Someone stole my American Express card payment from a mail box (probably an inside post office crook job) and the next month I had thousands of airline charges on my card, of course they were reversed.
The point is: Theft and fraud can happen anyway and do.
I personally do not worry about charging in San Pedro, I do it all the time when we visit with no adverse consequences.
Posted By: mommy

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 05:25 AM

chris sorry to here about your misfortune but i really needed a good laugh and that did it. i can see how everyone bust out laughng. its one of those things that suck when you do it but after its all over you laugh your butt off when you think about it. when i was a kid we got a new rocker chair and i was rocking in it talking away to my friend on the phone when i went to far back and over went the chair and i fell through the window it hurt for a min but then i started laughing and couldnt stop. so we all have those times when we do craZY THINGS carrie
Posted By: ChrisW

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 05:11 PM

Ouch! I hope the window was open and you didn't go through the glass. Breaking windows with your body is always scary because you don't know where the glass is going to end up. One time I was reaching for a storm door that had blown open and then wind reversed direction and the door suddenly blew shut. My arm went straight through the glass but didn't get a scratch on it. Another time I wasn't so lucky when I tried to catch a storm window that I was trying to install. I caught it but it broke in my hands and I ended up with a large piece of glass embedded in the palm of my hand.

Of course my dumbest most ironic injury, is the time I got bit by a dead baracuda. Or was it the time that I got attacked by a wild kitten? Now that I think about it my life has been one long string of freak injuries:)
Posted By: Chloe

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 05:20 PM

May I ask why this song and dance on this serious subject topic? This is not the joke room.
Posted By: GailM

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 05:39 PM

Thank you for your suggestion, honestly that never crossed my mind (it really should have). Deep down I was hoping that this was some kind of mistake. After going to San Pedro for over 20 years and spending part of my childhood there, I still had faith that this was not part of the growth changes on the caye. Not to mention, that I have never encountered a problem such as this. Most have been minor and as mentioned above.
I am following your suggestion and will see what happens. Thanks again.
Posted By: Debbie

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 06:38 PM

About a year ago, I started recieving charges on my CC from RUSSIA!!!! They were internet charges, and there was more than one. I've never been there in my life, and haven't even been to Europe since 1976. That was wierd. The company continued to tell me that there were charges, but they removed them from my bill. Never did solve the mystery, but it sure made me nervous!
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 06:48 PM

I make a living dealing with fraud. Lots of it, but very hard to prove. There are some slick characters out there. I would be leery of using the word fraud unless you know for sure. More likely it could just be a mistake and all you have to do is call your bank and dispute the charges. I have had to do this for unauthorized use of my credit card and they usually will just send you a declaration to sign. Otherwise, just say "No" - you are not going to pay it!

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 07:22 PM

can we compare scars on my next visit? i have a couple of "butes"
Posted By: ChrisW

Re: credit card fraud - 02/21/03 08:12 PM


I'm afraid to answer as I seem to be getting on some peoples nerves.

So to the stay on topic I will say that I think the thread has done a good job of covering the issue and that personally I don't worry too much about credit card fraud. Yes check for and report charges you didn't make, but why worry as it is the credit card company that will be forced to take the loss not you.

However, I do and would avoid using debit cards altogether or at least overseas or over the internet where fraud might be more prevalent. It is too easy for someone to steal your number and drain your checking or savings account. And you will take the loss unlike with a normal credit card.
Posted By: ckocian

Re: credit card fraud - 02/23/03 07:23 PM

A footnote to this subject:

The recent theft of eight million credit card numbers by someone who hacked into the site where they are stored raised a question for me. My son, who is a network security consultant in NYC, told me that those numbers would likely be sold in blocks of a thousand or so to buyers who probably reside half a world away. So, although the authorities currently have not detected use by thieves of those particular numbers, they could be used sometime in the future. It's always possible for unauthorized charges to appear at any time, regardless of how careful one is of not compromising one's own card numbers.

Cash or near-cash is a traveler's best option. We've paid cash for all transactions on our last two visits to Belize and it works well in two ways. First, we don't have to wonder about the charges that will show up and second, we've obtained discounts on the final tally of big buck items such as vehicle rental for payment in cash. It's the old-fashioned way, I know, but considering the trade off these days the "cashless" society may be in retreat.
Posted By: T IN BELIZE

Re: credit card fraud - 02/23/03 09:52 PM

We were in San Pedro in January, and they got us also, only thank goodness, for $100 Belize,(but even that is to much) and I will tell you who it posted to on our credit card bill, TROPIC AIR, which honestly is why it caught my attention, first let me say, our trip was a package, so yes our tropic air tickets were already paid for, and besides that what else would you buy there?? and whether or not the owners of Tropic Air or the managers are aware of this, i dont know, but someone there is running false charges! Our credit card company did not want us contacting the merchant directly, i was informed that during the investigation they would contact the merchant.(we will see) We will always pay with cash from now on, and cant wait to get back to AC!!!
Posted By: trina

Re: credit card fraud - 02/24/03 12:03 AM

Never had any credit card troubles in Belize,,,,but when we flew on TACA to Honduras, Bay credit card was charged 6 months later for the airfare....!I thought it was a total fraud, as the credit card bill did not say "TACA", but rather some weird company in Miami. (I thought they were a Honduran airline...huh?). Anyways, it took MONTHS to sort out. What a pain! mad :rolleyes:
Posted By: Wendy

Re: credit card fraud - 02/25/03 03:41 AM

T in Belize Please read my previous message. I know that Tropic Air deals with the Atlantic Bank.
If this is the same problem that we are having with charges -- the merchant is NOT aware of the error. It does not show as a credit to the merchant, only as a charge to you. It is a glitch in the new computer system at the bank. Before assuming you have been "taken" or that there is a "fraud" problem you should be getting in touch with Tropic.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: credit card fraud - 02/25/03 04:04 PM

It is correct that this is a problem with Atlantic Bank and not the merchant. The charges are being charged to your credit cart but the merchant, Tropic Air, in your case has no knowledge of it. Tropic is attempting to contact those affected once the Bank identifies the charges and lets Tropic know to let you know that this is not done by Tropic. You will be credited back for the charge by your credit card company. I dissagree with not contacting Tropic direct. It would expidite your credit and help Tropic to work with the bank to get this resolved if you would contact them and give them your information.
For anyone else who has been in Belize recently, it would be prudent of you to check your credit card bills closely, as this is not only a problem involving Tropic, but could appear as a false charge from any merchant who uses Atlantic Bank.

PS: If any of these false charges appear on your credit card you do not have to pay them. You can deduct them from your payment and you will not be charged for them or for interest if they are false charges. So they cannot "get you" unless you fail to check your bill.
Posted By: Wendy

Re: credit card fraud - 02/25/03 04:48 PM

Thank you bywarren for helping get my point across!! Seems like it is easier to "assume" the negative rather than check out the information of a problem offered. This continues to be a problem that the bank is trying to sort out. I certainly appreciate folks letting me know.
Posted By: T IN BELIZE

Re: credit card fraud - 02/25/03 09:40 PM

Thanks Wendy and Bywarren for the info, i have contacted my credit card company again just this morning with this info also, and bywarren again they advised me not to contact them, i agree with you i think that is wrong!! I will also tell you that I asked to have the cc # killed and to have a new # given to us, they did not want to do that either, so this card will be transferred and I WILL close it, I thought that would be the easiest answer, becasue lets just say this was actual fraud, and by the way thats the first time I have used that word, I used "false charges" and they are! I was worried that if $100 cleared what would stop $1000 or worse, Thanks again, for the Atlantic Bank info, I take responsibility for what i said and stand by it, I wasn't fully understanding the connection with other merchants, ie we never went to Atlantic Bank, and never bought anything at Tropic Air, but now understand our number could have came from one of our merchants using Atlantic Bank, and it probably would have been more understandable if it was a duplicate charge, not just $100 even, meaning if we spent $57.45 at a gift shop, and it showed on our bill and also showed $57.45 to tropic air. I have not received anything yet, but if and when i receive a letter, I will gladly post to let everyone know what they say to do. As i stated before we cant wait to get back to AC!! and everyone going anywhere, please just watch what you do, and check you statements, also as earlier stated we will from now on use cash or traveler's checks, I think it will save alot of headaches.
Posted By: silkpainter

Re: credit card fraud - 02/25/03 11:20 PM

Thanks Wendy for clarifying what is going on with Atlantic Bank. I have a merchant account, and its a constant vigil to make sure that the credit card charges that are put thru the gallery actually get into my account. I bank with Barclay's (First Caraibbean) which has the best reputation for being the most professional in Belize, so its not limited to Atlantic Bank, I think its the Belizean banking system in general.
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