Is Crazy ATM Software Scam or Not Find out here

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Contents

Travelling Claus

Travelling the world by bicycle, on foot and as a tour leader.

Do NOT use Euronet ATM’s when you travel.

Don’t use Euronet.

Euronet ATM’s are popping up all over the world. But they have very high fees. And you should stay away from them.

In the past couple of years, I have noticed ATM’s from the company Euronet popping up in many countries. ATM’s from this company are always located in places with many tourists and are easily visible. In many airports they have exclusive rights to operate ATM’s at the moment.

Euronet ATM’s do in many ways look like regular ATM’s. But there is a problem. The fees that are charged by Euronet and the exchange rates that are give are really really bad, compared to ordinary banks. It varies from country to country how they work. It all comes down to how much they can get away with in each country. Without breaking the law. If a country has a weak consumer protection law, then they will often make you lose up to 15% of your money in fees and bad exchange rates if you use them. They are made so that they only have high charges on foreign cards. This way they avoid getting in to too much trouble with the locals. But the foreign tourists pay a very high price to use them.

I have done some research and some of the eastern European countries are especially badly hit by high Euronet fees. I am writing these lines in Hungary, where they are everywhere. One month ago I was Visiting Poland and did also notice them in many places there. And noticed that the rates and fees there are terribly high there as well. Portugal has also been swamped with Euronet machines recently.

Who is behind Euronet?

The company is not actually European as you might think. Euronet is from the small town Leawood in Kansas. Euronet roughly employs 7700 people.

My advice to you if you are on holiday and need to draw money from your debit or credit card, then use the ATM’s that are inside regular banks. They are generally a lot cheaper. And I mean really a lot cheaper. There is no need to waste your hardly earned cash on these machines.

I decided to write this because I hate to see people wasting money when they travel. Hope you found this information helpful.

Nice travels, without Euronet, to everyone.

Claus.

118 Comments

Thanks for the warning, Claus. Back when I only traveled a few weeks per trip, I just brought money with me. Now that I”m away for much longer, I just withdraw money from ATMs. The 15% they charge is such BS. Most travelers aren’t usually aware of the charges deducted from their account, so this is good to know. I haven’t seen them here in Israel but I’ll keep on the lookout for those elsewhere.

I just bought some Kronas at Prague airport Euronet ATM whilst waiting for my luggage and they ripped me off by over 15 per cent. What a scandal. How can a Yankee firm be aloud to be called Euronet Worldwide is mind boggling. Also they have the cheek to write on the receipt Mark up: o%. Bastards.

Absolute rip off, you don’t even know the lousy rate and high ATM fee until you have withdrawn money.

I can confirm this. I used one of these ATM’s situated at the airport in Copenhagen to withdraw Danish Crones (my currency was Euros) and later that day I googled the exchange rate and woops, in the end I payed around 10-12% more than I should have. 100% Rip- Off.

Dont use euronet they charged me 50 euro for 1 witdrawel

Hi
Just got stuck with Euronet doing a ridiculous conversion. I have an Australian Debit card. They did a Euro to Australian dollar to Euro conversion. Lost 44€ in the process

We just used Euronet in Vienna and got ripped off $70 US because we weren’t paying close enough attention to the exchange rate. The receipt that we gott said “I have chosen not to use the MasterCard currency conversion process and agree that I will have no recourse
against MC concerning the currency conversion or its disclosure.” Of course this is not true. I plan on complaining to MC although I realize it will be to no avail. So frustrating to be ripped off.

Hi Linda,
Did you do some action against these scammers?

Just got stung in Lisbon Airport. What a rip off.

Totally agree. They are everywhere in Copenhagen, more in number than the genuine bank machines. I used a Monzo card so should have had my DKK converted by Monzo at the best rate. Foolishly (I was in a hurry) I accepted their rate for the conversion. Fortunately it was not a large amount, but they are a great big con. Avoid at all costs, literally.

Thanks for the info I will definitely avoid using Euronet

they’re in Porto Portugal too, everywhere!

Tho photo where I am giving the thumbs down to the Euronet machine is actually taken in Porto Airport ��

Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately I found out the hard way. They charge a conversion rate for Euro to Euro, assuming your own country as the origin denomination. Very dishonest system.

I found out the hard way also, I had a new ‘Travelex Money Card’ loaded only as I believed with Euro, needing Euro cash urgently in Berlin the nearest ATM I could find late at night after arrival was a Euronet one displaying the MasterCard symbol of my Travelex Money card. It refused to pay out Euros direct stating that I must accept their conversion rate. At this point being new card and first use I took perhaps as the card had in error been loaded with Sterling and needing cash accepted the transaction. Aggh wrong — same as Wayne’s post above they charge conversion from Euro to Euro recognising prepaid card as issued in UK. On top of that Travelex added later their own ‘Purse Conversion Fee. of 5.7% so cost me 28 Euros to get 150 Euros in cash. Complaint now raised with Travelex and Mastercard — outcome pending.
My next transaction was in a Banking Hall 150 Euros dispensed without problem zero charges and later check of account for card showed only the 150 Euros debited. So only Bank ATM’s for me now — shame on Euronet and the Mastercard / Travelex Systems for not adequately protecting or warning their Customers.
Hope this post will help others to AVOID Euronet and some other non-Bank ATM’s.

I can confirm this company is a rip off. Does anyone know of an official way to put in a complaint against the unlawful practice of charging exchange rates that are not in line?

Euronet is an American company from Kansas. This means that if you are in Europe, then you should complain to the lawmakers there, that Euronet is breaking the law.

Used it four times in Lisbon airport , didn’t work, but they took 48rmb four times +12rmb for each transaction which didn’t take place. But in Amsterdam I used it again to withdraw €100 and only cost 779rmb +12rmb exchange fee

Hello Rutger, are you saying they charged you even though you did not follow through with the transaction? I think this happened to me. I started to get out of the transaction, there was a final prompt something like “take this exchange rate” with the right button which I had realized was a rip, or “accept the risk that the rate may change” on the left, which I took as walking away from the transaction. I didn’t receive any money or a receipt unless I somehow missed this after taking my card..and yet am missing $150 from my bank account.I want a refund but am fearing that they will not do so…

The same way I’m still missing 400 Eur on my Eur card, after I refused Eur transaction with their exchange rate. Next day I applied to my bank and waiting for reply now.

Hi Kelli, the same thing has happened to my partner. He cancelled at the point of accepting/declining conversion and it still charged his card a very significant amount. Could you confirm if you received the funds back from Euronet eventually?

I just used a Euronet ATM, did not accept their conversion (I never do,) and got the going exchange rate. They use inflammatory language to scare you into accepting their conversion.

A total rip off. Stay away.

Rip off. Stay away and watch out for these ATM’s. Theyare all over the airports in Europe.

I can confirm the above reports. I’m from the UK and Visited Rethmnyo in Crete yesterday, used one of their ATM’s – they are everywhere on Crete – to withdraw 40 Euros, from my Revolut (internet bank) Mastercard, which ONLY held Euro’s. When the screen showed a truly uncompetitive conversion rate for EUROS to EUROS – how does that work. – I decided to hit the “Decline conversion rate” button, but the conversion went ahead anyway. and spewed out two, very expensive 20 Euro notes. The receipt the ATM issued was as good as useless, all it showed was the transaction value (40 Euros) and the date. No information whatsoever about the conversion rate or any useful information.

So yes, definitely avoid these scam ATM’s and as others have advised, ONLY use ATM’s attached to Banks.

Also, a little naming and shaming probably wouldn’t go amiss either.

These ‘stand-alone’ ATM’s are usually located on a retailer’s property – either in their wall, or freestanding, outside on the front of their premises. Obviously, the business owner is on a deal whereby they receive some form of kickback/commission/transaction fee, for allowing Euronet to site their machines on their premises, and every time the ATM is used. So, I suggest it is ‘politely’ pointed out to them that their customers – that’s you and me – are getting ripped off by Euronet. And adding insult to injury, when their customers are spending their ‘expensively acquired’ cash, in the owner’s business – if you get my point!!

Of course, another ‘direct action’ option, might be to superglue the card, cash and receipt slots, thus rendering them inoperable – albeit temporarily. This will cause some irritation to the business owner. Rightly so in my opinion. Making money out of potential patrons of their business or service, in such an unethical way, is not a good way to build customer goodwill. Neither will such a tacky, money-grabbing business model, encourage referrals to other potential customers. Very short-sighted.

Just make sure you’re not being filmed whilst in the act.

I almost got ripped off by them in Italy, but noticed that the exchange rate was too high…. decided to Google it before making a decision and found your article, confirming that I was not being overly paranoid for no reason…. Thank you for taking the time to warn other travelers!!

My pleasure Lara. This blog is first of all created in order to help fellow travelers with tips and advice. Greetings from Bosnia, where I am traveling at the moment.

4 times italy… Rome airport, Capri, Praiano

These machines are now ubiquitous on the Costa del sol. When initially they arrived here you were not charged for taking out euros but the sterling conversation rates were awful. Now to discourage those of us who have Santander zero accounts or Halifax clarity cards a fee of 1.95 euros is applied if you refuse their extortionate mark-up. Avoid and use the cash machines of reputable banks

Ich verstehe das Problem wohl nicht so ganz: Euronet gibt bei Kredit- und Debitkarten die auf Euro lauten keinen “1:1 Wechselkurs”? Das wäre ja wirklich kriminell!? Oder habe die Betroffenen die DDC-Option (DirektCurrencyConversation) bewusst/unbewusst gewählt, die bei Karten aus dem Euroraum für Euroabhebungen gar nicht angeboten werden sollte/dürfte.
Ich habe vor 7 Tagen 200€ bei einem Euronet-ATM in Buggiba/Malta abgehoben, mit einer “deutschen” Visa-Karte von der DKB. Es wurden dabei weder DCC angeboten noch Gebühren erhoben!
Vielleicht sollte man darauf hinweisen, das dieses Problem bei Visakarten von deutschen Direktbanken, die weltweit (zumindest europaweit) kostenlose Bargeldauszahlungen versprechen, keine Gebühren genommen werden, wenn man nicht in die DDC-Falle tappt!?
Sollte ich das Problem nicht ganz erfasst haben, bitte ich um Aufklärung.

Yep .. got a terrible exchange rate from Euronet ATM on Valtos Beach near Parga It was interesting that it said ‘receipt not available’ I reckon this is to guard against complaints.

I used Euronet in Lisbon and got a very good rate. There is one important thing to know.
Once you select the amount you want to withdraw, Euronet will ask if you want the money “with conversion” or “without conversion”. Select WITHOUT CONVERSION.
‘With conversion’ means Euronet does the conversion. ‘Without conversion’ means your home bank or credit card company does the conversion. It is cheaper for your home bank to do the conversion.
Most people select ‘with conversion’ as that seems like the obvious answer “of course I want my money converted”. But select “without conversion” and you will get the foreign currency with your bank doing the exchange.
Once you select “without conversion”, Euronet will then ask: “are you sure”? Select yes.
In Portugal there are 2 ATM companies, Multibanco and Euronet. I use Euronet because MB has a 200 euro limit per transaction while Euronet allows me to withdraw 500 euros.
Hope this helps.

Even if you use Euronet without conversion it’s still a very bad deal, because of the high fees they charge. I have the with and without conversion fee thing covered in another post. But Euronet does not just give you a bad rate. They also have massive fees beside the bad rate. So even if you change without conversion, you still get a really bad deal with Euronet.

There is a high possibility to get ripped of, as they offer you a “fixed” exchange rate(DynamicCurrenyConversion/DCC), which in my case would have been 25€ higher than the usual exchange rate. However, you can either accept this “fix” rate and click the right button, or you can denie it by clicking the left button (as it was in my case). I denied and got charged by the usual rate.
However, I personally am gonna avoid Euronet in the future.

Ugh. Wish i had read this previous to withdrawing euros at the lisbon airport. I got hit with €25 in fees on a €150 withdrawl

You should have gone to the police. ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit transactions. The only way they could charge you fees if if you used their DCC or used a credit card. If you reject DCC and don’t use credit cards for withdrawals, they are always 100% free in Portugal

Very good article. I was looking for a map with Euronet ATM’s in Greece, because tomorrow i’ll be there and a friend of mine just told me that he was ripped by a local ATM in Thassos ��

So I told him that I will help him with some pocket cash, but I have to find an Euronet ATM first :))… For some reason I can’t find a map on Euronet site, who knows why!

You have to trust me, I’m not a stupid traveler and I always think twice before I decide financial things, but this Euronet guys are pretty slick! I’ve never heard about conversion fee to the same currency and I was a bank employee for a few years. If I didn’t pay attention to this info, I think I could be their next sucker.

I use a Raiffeisen Bank CC issued in Romania and always had reasonable exchange rates. This year I thought it will be better if I will get a Libra Bank CC Euro currency, exclusively for vacation purposes.

When they’re give you the sale pitch, the zero travel fee it’s on top of the list. Nothing about the conversio fees :))

If you ask me about Euronet so far, I can say that for more It’s been a pleasure so. For more than a year I use a Romanian currency debit card and there is no ATM fee whatsoever as long as I use Euronet ATM’s in Romania. So I’m doing that heavily.

After I’ve done reading this article and the comments, I was sure that my friend was cheated exactly by the Euronet :)) and I don’t need to search for they’re fraudulent network. �� I have a smile on my face!

These ATM’s are everywhere in Crete. Before we set off on our travels we visited the UK post Office and bought a Post Office prepaid MasterCard and loaded the card with 1000 euros. 10 days into our holiday and we noticed that our balance was lower than what we expected (using the PostOffive travel card mobile app). Not understanding the transactions we contacted the Post Office customer service team who kindly informed us we had been ‘scammed’ and hit with DCC charges. Here is a breakdown of our transactions:

250 euro withdrawal – actual cost 278 euros
100 euro withdrawal – actual cost 117 euros
100 euro withdrawal – actual cost 112 euros
200 euro withdrawal – actual cost 220 euros

I will be complaining to the Post Office and MasterCard when I return home, yes they don’t own these Euronet ATM’s but they should be doing more to protect and warn their customers

We had an almost identical experience to you in Mallorca last week. I reckon I lost around £100 due to the dodgy exchange rates on the Euronet ATM outside our hotel. We were also using a Post Office prepaid Mastercard and because it was loaded with Euros, I didn’t think the exchange rate would apply. It seems as though the ATM was converting the Euros to GBP and back to Euros – I am absolutely fuming! I was prepared to pay the transaction fee, which I though was fair enough, but to be stitched up unnecessarily by the DCC is totally out of order. I suspect that because I “accepted” the exchange offered by the ATM I don’t have a leg to stand on. Please let us know how you get on with your complaints – I am also keen to make a formal complaint as this seems to be legalised fraud….

wish I’d read all this before! Just been ripped for 50quid by Euronet in Siracusa. feel a bit sick. wasn’t aware its so easy to mislead. am very wary now.

Have been to Tenerife and this ATM were all over the place. I debited Euro 70 and did not get warning message and was charged 2.99 Euro by Euronet ATM. On top of that bank charge transaction fees. Total fees around 10%. Is there any law on this loot and scam?

Like others got taken by Euronet in Florence. Paid over 50 Euro to get 200. Lesson learned. I sent a complaint to the company but don’t expect a reply.

I had the same experience for in Rome, Italy, last friday oct. 19th. When I made a withdrawal for 150 EUR I didn’t even got the opportunity to choose anything other than exchange rate that Euronet offered me. At that time 1 EUR = 11.4548 SEK, while the MasterCard rate the same day was 1 EUR = 10.3628 SEK. And on top of that a fee of 2.95 EUR.
AVOID THESE AMERICAN PROFITEERS.

Ha. I am wary of anything that has the acronym “Euro” in it , and was put off also by the looks of them ATM.s . So
I stayed clear of them and went to a regular bank one , refusing the DDC version of course , but I wanted to find out more about Euronet ( especially as I have a direct view of one of them machines from my apartment window here in beautiful Starigrad , Croatia and that is not the only one ) and , lo and behold , what do I find ?? Bingo , THIS article , and a zillion commentaries , which confirms SUSPICION IS RIGHT as the crooks are everywhere!
This one is especially despicable as it is aimed at unwary tourists AND it come from the US and and .
I am changing banks presently so I will have a surplus card soon and I think they do sell superglue at the shop …and it gets dark soon in winter. Dont get mad , get even , folks. and get wise.

They’re still scamming people. I got 150 euros out in Tenerife and the machine completed the transaction before I had chance to hit cancel. The rate on the screen was £1=1.03 euro when the market rate is £1=1.15 euro. Then to add insult to injury they charge a 2.95 euro fee!
I’m complaining to Euronet, but I don’t hold out much hope.
Thanks for starting this Claus, I learnt the hard way. Too late for me, but hopefully not others.

Unfortunately, i just used an ATM of Euronet. The normal fee was not very high. But the exchange rate is really, really bad. So please listen to the advice of Clause: DO NOT USE ATM OF EURONET.

I can confirm…It is ridiculous the exchange rate they use. I lost almost 50 euros withdrawing from this ATM. Won’t do it never again for sure.

Unfortunately it happened to us too. We withdrew 100 Eur in Porto with a european card and we have paid EUR 3, 95 fee.

ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. You either accepted DCC, used a credit card or got hit by some software bug, in which case should have gone to the police

Did any one had an situation like I did? I saw the conversion rate and obviously pressed to not to go ahead and they still took 550€ from my account. With no lonely going out of the ATM.. Ringing the fraud team of my bank they told me it should be back on my account 24-48h but I’m unsure will that be the case as it’s already 48h after. Although it is a weekend.. Anyone in same situation before?

Hi Lucas, could you confirm if you ever received the money back? A similar thing has happened to my partner.. Thank you

I have set up a Facebook page in a hope to warn more people. I hope it’s ok to share it here?

I fell for it too, in Bordeaux airport France. Thank you for this article Claus, at least I am informed and won’t get caught another time.

Unfortunately the only ATM’s in Kraków Airport are EuroNet. The fee was 18 złoty (approx. $5 USD) for a 300 złoty withdrawal declining their conversion rate. Needed złoty for cash only bus service, so the saving compared to the 80 złoty Airport Taxi was worth it for us. Seems like this fee was conservative compared to others, but it cost me nothing to withdraw złoty from Bank Pekao. Fortunately we have learnt for future destinations to avoid these ATM’s.

I am the idiot who has accepted their change in the ATM in Gdansk!
They are legalized bandits!
I was wrong about “Forex” in Sweden was worst!

I had a terrible experience with the ATM of Euronet during my vacation in Krakow for New Year Eve. While I was waiting for cash, the ATM had just become out of order without given to me. Then I checked my online bank and, unfortunately, the transaction for money withdrawal was completed. So, I called to their customer support line and asked for anybody who speaks English to solve my problem. But the operator just kept yieling at me in Polish, without even listening and hang up on me then. After that, I asked the receptionist in my hotel to call to their line and try to speak with them in Polish, so, at first, they were tryingto convienne her that despite the fact the money weren’t given to me, there is no transaction. But she explained them that I did have a transaction for a money withdrawal. So, they promised that the money will be returned to my bank account soon. But it’s 3 weeks already since that terrible situation happened. I even called to my local bank at home and also let them know about the situation. At least they showed they really cared and promised to do all the best from their side. Hope, this problem will be solved soon! But, I will never, ever, use Euronet’s ATM again! They not only charge top commission, but giving you terrible experience on vacation without even try to solve your problem!

An interesting article snd comments. However it does seem as quite a few people have gone for Dynamic currency conversion, which is a rip off on any machine. Can anyone tell me if they have used a TransferWise card loaded with Euros in a Euronet machine. Using the left hand button which apparently is without conversion. The charge should show up within your account after a few days. If not I will have to experiment myself. I like the idea of being able to get 400€ instead of 200, but dislike the idea of being ripped off to prove a point. I’m in Portugal.

You get ripped off, even if you are not using the Dynamic currency conversion. Dynamic currency conversion is on almost all ATM’s these days and you should of course stay away from that. I have also mentioned that in another blog post. But Euronet digs a lot further in to your pocket with their scammer ATM’s.

ATM fees are not legal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. Just don’t use a credit card or accept DCC and you won’t pay a cent!

Just be aware they are all over in Lisbon. Just payed on the exchange rate an extra 25 Euro compare to the current standard rate, just on 150 €. Even was advised form the tourist guide to use this ATM! What a rip off and doubtful advice from the guide! Very unfortunate to see this happening! Can only agree with all the other comments, stay away from this ATM’s.

ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. You either accepted DCC, used a credit card or got hit by some software bug, in which case should have gone to the police

yeah, I have a debit card in EUR, however issued by Polish bank. When tried to withdraw money on Euronet on Malta, they asked me if I would like to convert let’s the amount to EUR. So it means that I had funds in EUR, they wanted to exchange EUR to PLN, just to exchange PLN to EUR. Stupid.

Hye… We got into same situation.

We tried to withdraw 150 Euro from Euronet … But at the end money didn’t come .. we kept waiting… machine was making sound and displaying” collect cash” and we were waiting for cash to come out of machine …. Nothing happened… No money no receipt … NOTHING…. and after 2 mins ATM displayed that you have not collected money we have retracted cash…. and now my money is deducted.

Anybody got into same situation. What did you do.

Take a look at options in your own country first. For example from the US I use a Schwab Bank checking account (current account for others). Their deal is no ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees. Even though the ATM will charge you a fee it is ALWAYS restored on the month end balance. That’s zero ATM fee. And for improved security always use a bank ATM.

I must have been lucky; I used a Euronet machine at the Ukrainian/polish border and I paid no extra charges or exchange fees, just my local bank 1% currency exchange fee, which was OK. Not sure if it helped that it was issued from Swedish bank debit bank card. This was a couple of years ago. Normally I use proper bank ATM’s but at the border this was the only machine present.

Couple of years ago was ok. We could select “without conversion” and our bank would do the conversion using their rate without additional charges. But not anymore. Now there is a “transaction fee”. Even if you select “without conversion”, you’ll still have to pay high transaction fee. I also use Swedish bank card.

Just my two cents … I used one of their ATMs in Malta (Marsaskala) as there was none around and got ripped off with 25 Euros. Had no issues with Bank of Valetta so use them instead if you go to Malta.

FWIW, they’re not the only company with stand-alone ATM’s. Can’t think of the names at the moment, but I swear I’ve seen other non-Euronet stand-alone ATM’s around Europe.

Whatever they’re called, if they’re not associated with a bank (and a quick Google search can confirm it), steer clear.

Thankyou so much for this information. Unfortunately, in Greece too Euronet ATMs are everywhere. We had to make a withdrawal from one of their ATMs and did lose a substantial amount.

Thank you for this, Claus. I was just checking my receipts from a holiday stay in Rome, Italy, in February, and noticed some extraordinary withdrawels in terms of really bad changing rates. One of them found place on the city’s main airport, Fiumicino, where I certainly did not expect any scam. Now I know better. The scam (and Euronet’s dirty business idea) is that Euronet makes you use your domestic valuta as transaction currency, and not the local valuta, as most others ATMs do. Then they can set their own changing rate, which is really indecent and far higher than the cardholder’s bank would have used if the transaction currency had been the local one. I cannot understand that this is legal.

Thank you Claus.
I found out the hard way as well! I used one of their ATM machines in a very touristic place in Cyprus, called Omodos.
I asked for €800 and not only I didn’t get any money I was also charged commission fees!
Now three weeks later and after several phone calls I still haven’t got my money back! My bank has done all the necessary procedures so that the money would be returned to me, but Euronet has other ideas.
I will never use their ATMs ever again and I will be telling everybody I know to keep away from them!

I feel very sorry for those of you who have been ripped off, but it seems most of you are from outside the Euro area?

There are EU laws which forbid companies from charging for a withdrawal from a Euro bank account in another Eurozone country. I don’t see how they could be circumventing this and be allowed to trade?

Just just this ATM in Barcelona on La Rambla. My card got taken due to their faulty machine. When I called they said that I can’t get it back since I am not the owner of my debit card only my bank is. We are on vacation and it is huge trouble for us to have this issue. I called them 3 times and was told that manager will call me within hour, needles to say nobody called. This company is TOTAL rip off. DO NOT USE IT. I will be reporting it to American authorities since it is american company.

You are right for eurozone, In my case my official currency is EUR and if I try to wothdraw in Croatia or Hungry, the fee applies, since these countries are not in eurozone… eurozone is not europe, ot is only zone where eur is official currency

Had the same issue in Portugal this weekend, declined the exchange rate and my card came back out – no money followed. Next thing I know they have taken £171 from my account. Spoke to the bank and they are investigating, should hear back in 3-5 working days. Looking at another blog, someone else mentioned that they still charge even if you decline! Will let you know the outcome with the bank

ATM fees are illegal in Portugal for debit withdrawals. You either accepted DCC, used a credit card or got hit by some software bug, in which case should have gone to the police

People need to spray in red paint ‘SCAM – DO NOT USE’ across the machines.

I used this Euronet ATM machine in Netherlands. Little did I know that I had to pay 12% markup fee. I withdrew 1000 euro and had to pay 120 euro which was completely ridiculous. DO NOT USE THESE ATMs anywhere.

Man I wish I had googled this before using the Euronet atm today in Rome. I tried a bank atm first but there was an error. In the evening we were out of money and I couldn’t find a bank anywhere so I finally used one of these ubiquitous machines (I had passed at least ten of them while traipsing around Rome today). I lost 24 euros to their “markup” fee. I tried to back out of the transaction once I saw that. But there was no way to back up or cancel the transaction. Expensive lesson learned. I’ve NEVER paid a markup at any (real) ATM in all my travels. This is such a scam.

Have recently returned from Split, Croatia I too was a victim of Euronet’s fraudulent practices. Took out an amount equivalent to Euros 200 and was charged Euros 30 in administration charges plus a higher exchange rate. There was no pre-warning of how much I would be charged in administration costs nor even the exchange rate they would be using. The only thing I was asked was whether I agreed to proceed with the transaction.There was no choice or option to cancel the conversion so I went ahead, assuming that it would be roughly the same as other machines I had used at the airport upon arrival, .As far as I’m concerned, they’re nothing but a bunch of frauds.I hope that Euronet ATM quickly go bankrupt and that all their staff come face to face with themselves in this life and that they rot in hell!

Euronet ATM in Greece just withheld my wife’s card, and terrible byrocracy to get it back. Don’t recommend Euronet ATMs either!

Just got ripped off in Milan for over 100 euros. I withdrew 1000 euros and suffered from their conversion scam (12‰) I complained but there is no one really their to talk too. Do share if familiar with an organization that can actually do something about that.

the same sitution, i have withdrew 1500 euros , 200 euros charged

Just landed at Edinburgh airport used the ATM in the baggage area and ended up paying $354 USD for 200 GBP! I was in a hurry and was ripped off. My fault, but these machines should be removed.

I’m Canadian. Just got to Gdansk, Poland and like an idiot, withdrew 2500 Zliloty from a Euronet ATM. That came to $998 Canadian, not only with their 17 Zloty fee, but also THIRTEEN PERCENT commission! Their machines are everywhere in the old city. Obviously paying off local government.

After being ripped off by a Euronet ATM in Budapest, Hungary for a large cash withdrawal in local Hungarian currency, I contacted Euronet via email explaining that the ATM deceptively appeared to be a bank ATM, did not explain that there was a large markeup to take out local currency.I received a nonsensical “we offer ‘dynamic currency transactions’ explanation of the transfer fee and 13% commission they calculated as an ‘exchange rate’ on my withdrawal. Nope..no refund.

When I returned to Budapest from Rome the following week, I noticed Euronet ATMs in both the Rome and Budapest airports in the departure and arrivals areas. I placed prominent notes on both warning of the “13%+ commissions”, I also approached a few people using them as I waited to board my flight in Rome, and when I waited for my luggage in Budapest. ALL the people I approached thanked me for telling them, and told me they though it was a bank ATM.

We need to have an army of people armed with a stock of large stickers to put on each Euronet ATM they see in Europe where they can prominently stick warnings of “13%+ commission”, “Non bank ATM”, and “large transaction fees” to warn fellow consumers. If you have been victimized by Euronet, or just plain don’t like seeing companies steal from the public, please join us help in spreading these stickers throughout Europe on all Euronet ATM machines.

Bummer.. Got bitten by this scam. Thought of withdrawing some Euros before leaving Budapest to Vienna. All the ATMS I approached were giving out HUFs. Seeing this one giving out euros threw me completely off guard and only when I saw the conversion rate much later, I saw the 12-15% markup.

There has to be a law to mark them as non-bank ATMs. Such a rip-off!

Conmen without masks
Just needed some Euro’s in Ardara Donegal at ATM (Euronet) never again. It needs a sign above it, official or unofficial SCAM
I got €150 cost £148.62 markup 12% there must be a way of stopping this ripoff

Bitcoin Scam Guide – Avoiding Theft and Fraud

By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 11/14/19

There are numerous ways to lose your Bitcoins – scams, fraud, and theft are getting more and more common these days. This post will describe how to keep your Bitcoins safe, plus give you some practical tools to use.

Bitcoin Scam Guide Summary

There are numerous types of Bitcoin scams out there. Here’s how to avoid them:

  • Never expose your private key / seed phrase.
  • Use the Bitcoin Scam Test before using any unknown service.
  • Make sure you’re not logging into a phishing site (explained below).
  • Have strong unique passwords to all related accounts.
  • Enable 2FA on related accounts.
  • Use a VPN or secure network to connect to your Bitcoin accounts.

That’s how to avoid scams in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed review about how to identify scams and avoid fraud or theft, keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:

Don’t Like to Read? Watch Our Video Guide Instead

1. The Bitcoin Scam Test

Use this simple 12 question test to evaluate any unknown Bitcoin service or website. Some questions require a specific tool that are located on the right sidebar. If you don’t know the answer to a specific question you can choose to skip it (however the results will be less accurate).

Share the quiz to show your results !

2. Is Bitcoin Safe?

Bitcoin, the currency and the technology behind it, has proved to withstand numerous attacks throughout the years. The weakest link in Bitcoin’s security (as is the case with most other technologies) is usually the people who handle it.

Whenever you hear that Bitcoins were stolen, it wasn’t because there was a problem with Bitcoin’s technology, but because whoever was holding those Bitcoins wasn’t careful enough.

Saying Bitcoin isn’t safe because you hear a lot about stolen Bitcoins is like saying the dollar isn’t safe because you hear that there are a lot of robberies going on.

With great power comes great responsibility, and as long as you follow the steps in this post your Bitcoins will be safe and sound.

Before we get started, here is the most important rule you should remember:

You, and you alone, should know the private key to your Bitcoin wallet. The private key, or seed phrase, is like the combination to a safe. Whoever knows your wallet’s private key can take control of your Bitcoins.

No website or person should ever ask you for your private key – just as no one should ask you for the number combination of your safe. So keep that in mind as a red flag if you ever hear that request.

3. What Should I Do if I Got Scammed?

Here are some of the options at your disposal:

  1. Share your experience in the comments section of this post so others can learn from it.
  2. Report the website or service to the relevant authority.
  3. Report the website on review sites like TrustPilot, BitTrust and BadBitcoin.
  4. Take legal action against the site or service – this might not be worth your time or money (depending on how much money was taken from you).

4. Bitcoin Scams and Fraud Examples

In Scams and frauds, attackers exploit the weakness of the human factor to put their hands on your Bitcoin. Usually this is done by the fraudster claiming to be someone or something he’s not. Here are some common scams and fraud schemes:

Nigerian prince scams

Similar to emails that popped up when the Internet was just gaining mass adoption. The emails were sent by a person claiming to be a Nigerian prince that wants to share his wealth with you. This is a general term for all email scams where people ask you to send them Bitcoin.

The reason they ask for Bitcoin is because:

  1. Bitcoin is somewhat anonymous.
  2. Bitcoin transactions can’t be reversed.

How to avoid – Don’t ever send Bitcoins to someone you don’t know, and when you do send Bitcoins to someone you know, double check that you’re actually speaking to who you think you’re speaking to.

Private Key Scams

This type of scam involves people accessing your wallet’s private key or seed phrase (i.e. the password to your funds). There are several ways this scam can take form:

  1. Persuading the user to send over his private key / seed
  2. Persuading the user to give remote access to his computer and getting the private key through that access (example). This is usually done by pretending to be someone respected in the community / someone that can help you with an issue.
  3. Sending you a private key to use in your own wallet and then stealing the funds from that wallet (example).

How to avoid – You should never share your private key or seed phrase with ANYONE, and you alone should be the one generating it.

Phishing Scams

These scams usually include sending a fake email to the user from a known service (e.g. Blockchain.com) telling him he needs to log into his account for some strange reason by clicking on an attached link.

When the user clicks the link in the email he’s brought to a phishing site – an identical site to the original, but with a different URL. The sole purpose of this site is logging the user’s username and password. Once the user tries to log in, he basically transmits his sensitive info to the scammer.

How to avoid – Always be suspicious of emails asking you to log into a specific service. Double check the “from” email address and the URL in the browser you’re taken to. Also, it’s best to always access sites directly from the browser and not from links.

Also, make sure the site uses SSL connection – this means you should see a “lock” icon in the beginning of the address bar and that the URL immediately after begins with “https” and not “http”. Most phishing sites don’t have an SSL certificate, although there may be exceptions.

Finally, most services that you sign-up with know your name and use it in their emails. So if you are addressed as “sir” or “dear customer” see that as a warning.

Oh…and never open any email attachments from unknown senders.

Cloud Mining and Ponzi Scams

A Ponzi Scheme is a scam promising high-rates of return with little risk. The Ponzi Scheme pays out the older investors by taking money from new investors. At some point, the Ponzi Scheme operator usually disappears with the investors’ money.

Most Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes today appear in the form of cloud mining sites or coin doublers. These are sites that will promise you high-rates of return on your coins on a daily basis and will disappear with your money, after a while.

How to avoid – Just use the Bitcoin Scam Test on this page before investing in anything.

5. My Personal Scam Story

A little over 2 weeks ago I received the following email:

At first glance, this seems to be a normal email blast sent out by Coindesk looking for advertisers. As you can see from the recipient line it was sent to the admin address of 99Bitcoins ([email protected]).

The thing is, we don’t have an admin address, it was just captured in our inbox since all email directed to 99bitcoins.com are captured.

Here’s what was suspicious about the email:

  • The sender’s name – Shakil Khan. I knew who he was, he was the founder of Coindesk. Why would the founder of a huge publication be sending out cold marketing emails? Don’t they have at least a VP marketing or someone else not so high up?
  • The email was sent from [email protected] – I assume that Coindesk would be sending out emails from their own domain name and not using a general Gmail address.

However, the advertising spots available were actually pretty convincing. First, the email stated specific daily impressions count.

Second, the date at which the banner will be available matched what was advertised at Coindesk. If you were to visit Coindesk at the time the email was sent you would see there was an ad there for Coinsummit that was set to expire on the 6th of July.

Finally, the Facebook URL was also pretty convincing – why would someone be starting a Facebook page that wasn’t their own? I mean if this was a scam this may lower their success rate.

After some back and forth with the (still unknown) scammer I was convinced that this is a good deal and was about to send my Bitcoins until I got the final response:

The grammar mistakes finally aroused my suspicion and I decided to send an email to a verified contact I had in Coindesk. I got the following response:

It seems that this specific email isn’t the only way these scammers try to cheat people out of their money. Some emails even have an actual Coindesk domain “from” address but if you look at the “reply to” address you see it’s the same Gmail address.

The final thing I found out was that the Facebook page mentioned in the original email was not the actual Coindesk FB page. It was a fake page pointing to COLNDESK – but if you don’t write the letter “L” in caps it looks like a capital “I”.

My alertness saved me from losing money in this case. But I think I’ve learned a much more valuable lesson – and that’s how easy it just became for scammers to take your money.

You see, until Bitcoin was introduced, scammers had to overcome complicated barriers when they wanted someone to send them money. They needed to persuade people to wire them the money or send a check.

This would require them to supply an address or a bank account, which could later easily lead to their capture. More than that, these actions require more effort and had a much lower success rate.

But with Bitcoin, cash just became digital, and scam success rates are rising because of it.

I think what I personally take from this story is to make sure I can positively verify the person that I’m sending money to, before actually sending it.

Here’s another example that’s been circling around, this time from the alleged “BitcoinTalk” forum. As you can see below, the same techniques are used here – a Gmail address, stating exact banner sizes, etc.

6. Bitcoin Theft

Unlike fraudsters, thieves steal Bitcoin by circumventing security measures to gain access to their victims’ funds. Online wallets and exchanges are the weakest links in terms of Bitcoin theft. The easiest way to avoid theft from these sites is not to keep any Bitcoins on them.

However, sometimes it’s inevitable to keep funds in an exchange or an online wallet. For example, if you want to trade frequently or if you’re using a certain wallet for online games.

If that’s the case, it’s important to secure your online Bitcoin accounts with a strong enough password.

Generating strong passwords

Here are some general rules for creating a strong password:

  • The more characters the password has the better. Aim for at least 8 characters.
  • Try to create a mix of lower and upper case letters and non traditional characters like exclamation marks, hyphens and so on.
  • Don’t reuse passwords from other accounts.

Of course, the best passwords are the ones that are just a random string of text, numbers, and symbols, but they are also extremely hard to remember. That’s why I strongly recommend you get some sort of password manager to help you generate and keep track of your passwords.

Another way of remembering strong passwords is using numbers instead of certain letters as shown here:

Th!5 i5 a 5tR0ng Pa5sw0rd

These rules should be exercised each time you open a Bitcoin related account, choose a PIN code for your wallet or choose a passphrase for encrypting a file.

For example, if possible, choose a PIN code for your mobile wallet with 8 digits instead of the standard 4.

2 Factor Authentication (2FA)

Another very useful security measure you should use whenever possible is to enable Two-factor authentication for your accounts.

Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is a method of confirming a user’s identity through two separate components. In most cases, it would be something a user has and something a user knows.

A good example for 2fa from everyday life is withdrawing money from an atm; only the correct combination of a bank card (something you have) and a PIN (something you know) allows the transaction to be carried out.

In the case of online accounts, something you know will be the password to the site and the something you have will be a mobile phone that will receive a text message containing a PIN code when you try to log in.

This way, even if a hacker manages to uncover your password he still can’t log in until he physically puts his hand on your mobile device.

HOWEVER, if you use a normal text message, a hacker can still manage to intercept the message as it’s being sent to your phone. That’s why it’s important to use dedicated 2FA apps that are much more suited for this task. Some of the more popular 2FA apps today are Google Authenticator and Authy.

Using trusted Networks

One thing we tend to forget is what network we are using to access online Bitcoin services like exchanges and wallets. Make sure to access sensitive information only on trusted networks that are properly secured.

For example, use your password-protected home or mobile network only and never use a public wi-fi network to access a Bitcoin service. Of course, the password for your router should also follow the rules we just talked about. Public wi-fi networks are extremely vulnerable and hackers can eavesdrop on your session.

If you have to use a public network, make sure to connect through a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN. VPNs are programs that hide your online footprint and encrypt your data, making life extremely hard for hackers.

Another very important security measure we already mentioned is to make sure the site you’re connecting to uses a secure SSL connection – this means you should see https:// and not http:// showing up in the address bar.

7. Additional Safety Tips

Whenever you’re sending money to an address, remember that Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Once the money is sent, there’s no “insurance” and you can’t get it back. For this reason, make sure to always double check that the address you’re sending the money to is correct.

Never type the address in manually since Bitcoin addresses have a lot of characters and you may make a mistake. Either copy and paste the address or use the QR code of the address to scan it. If you send money to the wrong address, there’s no way to retrieve it.

Make sure you trust the person you’re sending money to. If you don’t trust them, you can always use a third party escrow service that you both agree on. One very popular escrow service is Bitrated where you can choose known figures from the Bitcoin community as arbitrators in case of a dispute.

Finally, if you’re conducting small amount transactions, one confirmation may be enough to send over the goods to a counterparty. But if you’re dealing with large amounts, wait for at least six confirmations in order to be sure that the transaction is irreversible.

8. Conclusion

As you can see there are numerous types of Bitcoin scams, and I’ve only covered the main ones. The important thing to remember is this: Bitcoin transactions are irreversible.

So check as much as you need to make sure you’re sending money to someone you trust. Once the money is sent, there’s not much you can do about it.

Have you used the Bitcoin Scam Test? Have you been scammed or fell victim to a fraud? Let me know in the comment section below.

Hackers Have Figured Out How to Steal Millions from ATMs

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This newsletter comes from the future.

Federal regulators just alerted banks across the country of a very dangerous new skill ATM hackers have picked up. They can trick ATMs into spitting out unlimited amounts of cash, regardless of the customer’s balance. Not only that, but also schedule the illicit withdrawals for holidays and weekends, when the ATMs are extra flush.

We’ve heard of crazy ATM hackers before , but this really takes the cake. It’s a triple threat, really. The ability to skirt around daily ATM withdrawal limits is bad enough, since the hackers isn’t limited to $500 or whatever the limit is on any single account. But the fact that the hackers can now extract more than what’s in a customers account combined with the scheduling method means that any given ATM theft could now be an all out heist. That’s why the Secret Service is calling this strategy Unlimited Operations.

Hackers Can Force ATMs to Spit Out Money With a Text Message

It’s getting remarkably easy to hack ATMs these days, and security researchers say that Microsoft’s

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Heists are exactly what’s happening, too. “A recent Unlimited Operations attack netted over $40 million in fraud using only 12 debit card accounts,” said the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council in its alert to banks. The regulators believe that the hackers have actually been targeting bank employees with phishing scams in order to get their malware installed on the banks’ computer systems. The Los Angeles Times explains how it’s done :

Criminals use the malware to obtain employee login credentials and to determine how the institution accesses ATM control panels, often based online, that allow changes to be made in the amount of money customers may withdraw, geographic usage limits and how fraud reports are generated.

After hacking the control panel, criminals withdraw funds by using fraudulent cards they create with account information and personal identification numbers stolen through separate attacks, the regulators said. The PINs may be stolen by malicious software or scanning programs at merchant sales terminals or ATMs, or by hacking into computers.

It also doesn’t help that the recent Target breach put millions upon millions of card numbers out in the open, giving hackers even more fraudulent cards to work with.

For those that’ve been hit by one of these attacks, federal insurance will kick in, but it’s a huge pain in the ass for everyone. So in a twisted sort of way, these ATM hackers are inevitably taking your tax dollars. That mobile payments revolution everyone keeps talking about can’t come soon enough, can it? [ LAT ]

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