So you thought withdrawing money from any ATM is safe? Unfortunately, some of the ATMs around Europe can cheat you more than any exchange place.
These ATMs by a company Euronet (easy to spot them, check the picture) are only in the tourist destinations and near tourist attractions. And they’re everywhere.
They’re also pretty smart! If you insert a local credit card, they would act normally. But the trick starts when you insert a foreign card – the ATM then changes to a rip-off machine.
Firstly, they would offer you to withdraw a ridiculous amount of money. For example here in the Czech Republic, the ATM amounts start at 10.000 CZK (400 EUR or 450 USD) and go up to 20.000 CZK (800 EUR or 900 USD). Guess what, if you insert the local credit card, the amount will start at 200 CZK (8 EUR or 9 USD).
Next, this ATM will offer to use dynamic rate conversion, which – as good as it sounds – is just another trick on you. It basically means that they will do the conversion instead of the bank, which issued your card. But no, no, no, let your home bank to do the math and always choose “decline conversion”.
Also, note that this ATM would charge you a fee. Even if you don’t pay any fees in normal ATMs around the world. But since this ATM doesn’t belong to any bank but to a private company, you would be charged if you used it.
To sum it up:
- 1) do not use ATMs only marked with “ATM” sign
- 2) always decline the dynamic conversion
- 3) pay by card (almost every shop or restaurant in Prague will take cards)
Check the full video to see some other common tricks:
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