Robbed by a Canadian Bank at ATM Point in Costa Rica


UPDATE: On February 25, 2022, the missing amount was deposited into my account as a correction. Sometimes things work as they should!

My wife and I spent the holiday season in Costa Rica visiting her family. It was my second time there and it is a beautiful country at the best of times, and even during a pandemic, they seem to be able to handle things. I’ll write more on this in a subsequent post.

In a nutshell – I was robbed by a bank. Not a Costa Rican bank, but a Canadian bank – Scotiabank.

While the experience was grand, to say the least, there was one irksome snag: I got robbed. Now before you go thinking I was a Gringo victim of some Latino gang that preys on tourists, or perhaps a less organized random act of theft, allow me to explain.

In a nutshell – I was robbed by a bank. Not a Costa Rican bank, but a Canadian bank – Scotiabank.

On my second day in Costa Rica, I used a Scotiabank ATM, not my bank, located in a MasXMenos supermarket – a Walmart company – to withdraw some local currency. I entered my card and PIN with no problem. I requested a withdrawal of 60,000 colónes, about $130 Canadian dollars. The machine started to grumble and grunt, yet no cash was forthcoming. I waited patiently but still nada. My wife, whose first language is Spanish, spoke with a supermarket employee who came over, pushed the cancel transaction button, and gave me back my card. No cash, no record of the transaction. I went back to the ATM after a moment and there was now no noise, nor cash, and still no record.

Alas, when I returned to my in-laws’ and checked my bank website there was, indeed, a debit for the $130! I had no cash and no proof of having canceled the transaction.

Alas, when I returned to my in-laws’ and checked my bank website there was, indeed, a debit for the $130! I had no cash and no proof of having canceled the transaction.

My wife called the local Scotiabank number and was told that it was up to my bank, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, to pursue the matter as the folks at Scotiabank don’t know me from Adam, or Pedro. I have since been in touch with my bank agent who informs me that it may take up to two months for an international investigation to be completed. Frankly, I think I’m just shit out of luck. I imagine some technician at some point came to service the machine and found my money stuck in the works. I hope they spend it wisely!

But never did I think it would be a bank from my own country that would rip me off!!

Traveling in parts of Latin America can be dangerous for those not familiar with the area, as is probably true of any tourist attraction, even if Costa Rica is one of the safest places in the region. But never did I think it would be a bank from my own country that would rip me off!!

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

3 thoughts on “Robbed by a Canadian Bank at ATM Point in Costa Rica

  1. Poor guy. But, I am happy you both got back here without any flight delays or problems. Talk soon, Linda

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. What a story! But I don’t see any pictures. When you have time.
    Sorry we couldn’t talk. We have Kevin sitting on our shoulders warning us about quarantines etc
    Hope to talk to you properly soon.

    Sent from my iPhone

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