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Rabobank to block cards for use outside Europe

Starting June 1, Rabobank will automatically block individual bank cards for use outside of Europe. This new rule is intended to prevent losses to individuals and to Rabobank itself due to the practice of skimming, a form of credit card fraud in which the victim's credit card number and PIN are stolen without the victim's knowledge, for example by attaching an inconspicuous recording device to an ATM.

Replacement of the magnetic strip with the EMV chip on bank cards has made this type of theft more difficult, but damages due to skimming in the Netherlands nevertheless doubled last year to almost 39 million euros.

According to Rabobank’s head of private accounts, Rik Op den Brouw, implementation of this type of blockage in Belgian banks has reduced losses due to skimming to almost zero.

Exceptions apply to customers with a premium "Riantpakket," those who have used their cards outside of Europe within the last two years, and also to business bank cards.

Note that Rabobank's definition of "Europe" in this case is rather broad and extends to Turkey and Belarus. Furthermore, all customers can temporarily activate their cards for use abroad via their Rabobank internet banking accounts or by phone.

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Carly Blair

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