It is unfortunate to read of the recent ATM scams operating in Pattaya lately. I would like to share my experience with others as a learning.
Recently whilst on holiday in Pattaya, I had need to use an ATM. Unfortunately I chose an ATM on Beach Road near Soi 3 which was obviously a target for fraudsters. Upon having difficulty in getting the machine to release my card, an overly friendly farang of Middle Eastern heritage attempted to assist. I declined his offer and finally obtained my card.
Somehow he must have got my card id. Unfortunately over the long weekend of New Year, someone or a number of people used my card number and id and successfully obtained over 258,000 baht from my credit card account. The withdrawals were made all over Thailand: Chonburi, Phuket and Bangkok in a four day period. When the bank advised me I immediately reported it to the Pattaya Police who I must admit were less than helpful.
Upon my return to Australia I was advised that Thailand, in particular Pattaya, is regarded as the worst place in SE Asia for Card Fraud, to the point where one of my banking institutions automatically cancelled my card when they observed one Thai transaction appear on the account.
I believe that if this situation continues tourists will not only revert to only carrying travellers cheques but will also avoid places like Pattaya. As my wife is Thai we often holiday in Thailand; however, given my latest experience I won’t be back in Pattaya anytime soon.