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Warning: Cloned ATM Cards in Milan, Italy

Beware.  ATM cards used in the ATM machine, or ‘bancomat’ as it is known here, of the Via Paolo Sarpi 64, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo branch in Milan, Italy, have been cloned.

My other half ‘lost’ €350 after this sum was withdrawn from a Banca Intesa Sanpaolo ATM in Turin, and another friend of ours, also a Banca Intesa Sanpaolo customer lost €500 as a result of a withdrawal from a Banca Intesa Sanpaolo ATM in Bergamo last weekend.  The money will be refunded.

From what I’ve heard, around 200 people who used the ATM in this location have had their ATM cards cloned.

The Banca Intesa Sanpaolo bank has been putting blocks on the cards affected meaning that they will not function.

People whose cards have been cloned will need to go to a carabinieri station and make a ‘denuncia’ – report the theft to the police.  If this is not done, then any money which has been withdrawn illegally will probably not be refunded.

Here is a map showing the location of the affected Banca Intesa Sanpaolo branch:

Location of the Via Paolo Sarpi 64, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo branch in Milan

ATM cards used here in the last week or so have been cloned.

[googlemap lat=”45.480957″ lng=”9.170284″ width=”450px” height=”300px” zoom=”15″ type=”G_NORMAL_MAP”]20154 Milan, Italy[/googlemap]

If you have used the Banca Intesa Sanpaolo ATM machine in Via Paolo Sarpi shown on the map above in the last two weeks or so, check your back account for unauthorised withdrawals.

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I do not know if foreign bank ATM cards are affected, nor am I aware what the situation regarding credit cards used for cash advances is.  However, it would not be a bad idea to check bank balances and credit card statements carefully if you think you may have used the ATM in question.

Actually, if you have been to Milan recently, and used an ATM machine, it’s probably not a bad idea to carry out a few checks, just in case.  This may not be an isolated case.

If you read this and know someone who might be affected, let them know, and spread the word in general, as this information  may help a few people out.

Should you need to contact the Banca Intesa Sanpaolo bank, here is a link to the English version of the Banca Intesa Sanpaolo website contact page, where you will find numbers which can be called from both within and outside Italy.

How to Spot A Modified ATM

The crime of stealing PIN codes from ATM cards, which is known as ‘skimming’, is becoming more common in Italy.  The bank affected in this case was a main branch, and the ATM machine concerned is inside a bank foyer, not directly on the street, as is often the case.

To avoid having your card skimmed, and then cloned, try placing your hand over the keys while you enter your PIN code.

Look out for tiny holes through which a tiny camera will record your PIN.  Sometimes there will be a panel above the keyboard, other times there may be a fake brochure rack to one side of the ATM.  Watch out for obvious signs such as ill-fitting panels, wires or other tell tale evidence.

Try to use ATMs which have video surveillance cameras around them – this makes it more difficult for the ‘skimmers’ to install their devices.

If in doubt, and the bank is open, tell bank staff that there is something suspicious.

These people move very fast, and may wait until midnight so they can make two withdrawals at the maximum limit allowed for a day.

This post on the Consumerist site has more information and photographs too:  Here’s What A Card Skimmer Looks Like On An ATM

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