Friday, April 11, 2008

ATM Drama

While strolling the Sint Maarten docks one evening, we ran into a fellow sailor last seen while we were all in Antigua. He was the barer of some important bad news. The (one and only) ATM that services Antigua’s Falmouth and English Harbour areas was part of an ATM card cloning scam. His shipmates had already lost thousands from their bank accounts. We were quick to check our balances and relieved to find we were safe, at least so far. We’d also heard some people were experiencing delays in fraudulent activity. So as a precaution, I withdrew my daily limits to drain my account and my captain ran his balance down and closely monitored the account in an attempt to still have access to more money since we will remain far away from our banks and the USA for a few more weeks. Meanwhile we notified our guests and other sailor friends that were also in Antigua during our stay. The plan seemed to be working until yesterday when my captain’s bank notified him that his ATM was cancelled due to “irregular activity” and hours later our guests experienced the same. Now we all remain shutoff from our funds until we have access to new ATM cards. At least my captain and I are only hours away from setting sail to Bermuda so we won’t be spending any money for about 5 days.

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