Whine Wednesdays: Debit Card Cloned In Brazil Or Mexico


We are already past the first half of 2021, and only now do I have a first credit card breach of the year after two in 2020.

When I was typing away this afternoon, I received a text message from Schwab that there was unusual activity on my Visa Debit Card. I only use this card for foreign ATM withdrawals at terminals with a fee, which this bank refunds once a month.

I replied NO, and it then came to my mind that perhaps this was merely a phishing text. The phone number on the text was the fraud services of Schwab. But how could I be sure of the supposedly soon coming call that it was from the bank and not from some hackers?

So, I decided to call the number on the back of the card to find out what was going on and ended up holding for 20+ minutes while listening to “market” news.

There had been EIGHT charging attempts with this same merchant yesterday and today. None of them were approved, and each was just for $0. Doesn’t make much sense.

The card was canceled, and the new one is on its way.

I have been extra careful when withdrawing cash in Latin America due to my previous cloning cases in the area. As a result, I have only used bank ATMs preferably attached to a branch. No more using free-standing ATMs in shopping malls or airports.

Here are some of the fraud cases that we have covered:

Whine Wednesday: Credit Card Fraud

Whine Wednesday: Credit Card Fraud (Hassle)

Whine Wednesdays: Two Credit Cards Cloned In Brazil

Whine Wednesdays: Credit Card Cloning

BEWARE: ATM Card Cloning at Rio De Janeiro Airport

MAJOR RANT: Housekeeping Theft & Credit Card Cloning In Brazil


I have never used this card for anything other than withdrawing cash from ATMs outside of the Euro-area area that charges a fee, as Schwab credits all these back once a month.

Difficult to tell where the card was cloned this time, but the place must be either in Mexico or Brazil, the only two countries where I have used this card in 2021. One of the bank ATMs that I used must have had a skimming machine attached.

When was the last time your card was cloned, and did the charge go through?