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Say It Right Series

do not use debit card in China!

Posted by ooka May 19, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: bank card, duplicate

Hi everyone, i'd like to share my story in the hope what happened to me won't happen to anyone here。

As most of you know in China foreigner aren't allowed to apply for credit card - we can only apply for debit card. (借记卡jie4ji4ka3)

Last week I went to an atm and before withdrawing my money i decided to check my account. I thought there must be a mistake when it said i had only 773 rmb left on my account (i was expecting to see around 13000rmb). So i ran to my bank with my account book, and i found out that a week earlier someone had done 6 withdrawals of 2000 rmb on my account...

I was explained by the teller that my card had probably been copied at an atm (either by sticking a card sweeper over the place you put your card in, or something similar), that someone had seen me entering my pin code (either using microcamera installed near the atm, or by peeking over my shoulders) and then duplicated my card and emptied my account in another atm (as it turns out the thieves went to an atm in Hangzhou - i lived in Ningbo - that's about 150 miles from there).

The fraud is a classic, everybody knows about it, i thought i was always careful, obviously i was not enough.

Where it stings is that in China, the bank (bank of china) won't pay you back until the thieves have been caught by the police. (I'm told my case has been transferred to the Hangzhou police and that they'll call me when they find something new..)

My bank told me this is happening more and more often with debit card (they also told me they almost never get the money back to the victims).

Bottom line = run to your banks and cancel your debit card! Only withdraw your money at the counter with your book account.

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