Splette's Travel Blog


Four withdrawals of a Peruvian bank of 122.77 € each.

My bank account statement

My attempts of getting my bank account in a better shape have taken another blow this morning. Here comes another article for the ‘crime’ section of my blog (José, I hope you are happy now! 🙂 ).

As we all know, I am really good at losing things (one of the numerous superpowers I possess). But the only thing I actually got stolen during the last 12 months of traveling was a pair of smelly sneakers. Until last night, when 500€ (to be precise: 491.08€) miraculously disappeared from my bank account. That’s not cool. The money was withdrawn from a bank in Lima, Peru. I have never even been to Peru (yet). How this is even possible is beyond me. I could not contact my bank directly because their service number cannot be reached via Skype. So, my dad (who has access to my account) had to take care of this. The bank blocked my card but what’s going to happen to the 500€ is unclear. The bank person in charge did not reply my email, yet but told my dad something about a police report. I wonder how and where from I am supposed to get this police report. From Germany (via phone?), from Costa Rica or do they expect me to fly to Lima to file the report there…

This is frustrating. And I am still puzzled as of how this is possible. Unlike my other (legit) cash withdrawals here from Costa Rica, the fraudulent one says ‘Lastschrift‘. But then the statement also says it was done with my debit card (‘EC-Karte‘). But that card is in my pocket. It was never lost. I am pretty careful when withdrawing money from an ATM and watch out for suspicious things. I always cover my hand when entering the PIN number.

If any of you has experience with a similar situation and has any advice for me to get my money back, please let me know…


The complaint ('denuncia') I filed with the police in Costa Rica

Police Report

Update 1: Thanks everyone for the feedback. I talked to the bank. It was not a real ‘Lastschrift’ but someone withdrew money from an ATM with a duplicate of my debit card. My bank asked me to file a police report here in Costa Rica which I did (needed a translator as the cop didn’t speak English). Now I need to fill out some additional paperwork and send it all off to the bank. Within a few weeks the bank should refund the money.

A few days ago, I noticed that my credit card was blocked again (this must be the forth or fifth time this year). I called and it turns out that someone in Peru withdrew about 500 Euros with it! What a surprise. Apparently, that fraudster did a proper job and stole my credit card information, too. The employee at Barclay said this happens all the time. I’m not sure if I need to get a police report for this one, too. She did not mention anything. My problem right now is that I have no way to withdraw money until the new cards arrive in Costa Rica and I have not that much cash left.

Update 2: By now I got all the money back, both from the credit card and my bank account. Thanks again for all the feedback.

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /www/htdocs/v028831/panam/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 405


  • Comment by Roland — December 20, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    I think the most likely reason is that you didn’t notice a EC skimming fraud while using your EC card before.
    See: http://www.heise.de/security/artikel/Angriff-der-Karten-Kloner-270934.html (link also has English version)
    It seems that most bank give you the money back as long as you can convince them that you didn’t give the PIN and card to others and have followed all the banks security advices. See 4th page of link and (only in German):

  • Comment by Neusi — December 20, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    Hi Splette, Lastschrift is when you pay with your signature, i.e. in Supermarkets. In principal, you don’t even need a card, the account number is sufficient. If you pay a Lastschrift with a card, the card just conveys the account specifics.

    As you do not initiate a Lastschrift, the typical Lastschrift allows to payer to cancel it – if he’s quick enough (within one week or so). It’s up to the receiver to proof his claim then. That’s at least the german version of ‘Lastschrift’.

    My two cents. Have some nice Christmas days!


  • Comment by Splette — December 20, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    My dear readership is full of useful information.
    Thanks a lot for the info. I hope I will get hold of my ‘Bankberater’ tomorrow.
    As you can see on the screenshot, I did notice and report the thing while the status was still ‘vorgemerkt aber noch nicht verbucht’. So, I lost no time there…

    Thanks & Merry Christmas,

  • Comment by Zoe — December 20, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Neusi is right. You can deny the transaction and they will have to go look for your signature. If they find it, they will know immediately that it is not yours. I think there s no reason to worry – you ll get it back!

  • Comment by Roland — December 20, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    I don’t think this really is a “Lastschrift”. If it is Neusi is right and you should have no problem to get the money back. But I’m pretty sure that Lastscrift doesn’t work between a European bank account and a non-European bank account. I think the scammer used a card at the ATM (because of the “EC-GA”) and the bank used a Lastschrift for the interbank transfer.

  • Comment by Lipi — December 30, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    Hi Splette,
    The same happened to me! Although it was a credit card online theft instead of a debit card theft. Someone had bought several things in US from Macys (roughly 480 Euros), I was not even there in US when this happened. Infact, I was quite surprised that he/she had the guts to shop from a known store, so in principle that can be traced. Anyways, the main point is that such thefts are covered under insurance, so I got my money back. You have to show the proof (in this case Police report) to the Bank and then they returned it into the account within 20 days.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment