emptypockets2

This is a post-script to an early entry about banking in Sao Paulo and overcoming my fear of robbery en route home from the bank.

As we were preparing to check out from our Santa Cruz hotel on Sunday, I logged in to our bank online, just to verify our funds for the rest of the trip. Good thing I did. We’d been robbed. Apparently, when Tom and I went to the bank by our apartment the morning we left (we needed money for our dog sitter), my card was copied in the ATM machine at Itau Bank.

The thieves emptied our account, to the tune of R$1000, which, fortunately, was all that we had in the bank, having transferred funds to another card for our travel (that’s another story). We had been having trouble with Tom’s credit cards, which had been “locked” by USAA against use in the U.S. One of my cards, which had not been locked, was the thieves’ entre to our account. I suspect collusion by at least one bank guard, since I can’t imagine anyone putting a credit card reader on an ATM in a locked and protected bank foyer without some help from the local guards. Only a suspicion, but I don’t think I’m wrong.

USAA will stand by us and make this right, as they have in the past, but meanwhile, we were skinned at a most inopportune moment! Thank goodness for multiple credit cards, even ones we try not to use.

Yet another reason not to do my banking in the local Itau branch, but only get money at Tom’s place of employment.

Screw you, Sao Paulo thieves. Get a job and earn your own damned money!