Dec. 2, 2010
Back in action
Received two packages from my daughter Tuesday, including my new ATM card. Now I can access my bank account – and, boy, did I do that today. Booze, groceries, rent, utilities and a half-day fishing charter for Thursday morning. At least my backup plan worked as planned but not being able to get into your bank account because of some idiot who is using the card number is not a pleasant experience. I’m about as cautious as anyone but someone either got my data through an online retailer’s security lapse or a Trojan rode into my computer via one of those forwarded e-mail message/threads that everyone likes to pass along. Please don’t on the latter, as those messages often contain malicious stuff that will ruin your friends’ computers and empty out their bank accounts.
Quite a difference
For those of you who travel to multiple countries and use Travelers’ Checks, there is a difference from country to country in how much you will pay to exchange them for cash. My recent experiences in Nicaragua and Jaco illustrate this vividly. I have recently exchanged $300 worth of checks in both places. In Nicaragua, they took out 5% as a commission – $15. In Jaco, they took out less than $1.50 total. Nicaragua cost me 10 times as much as Costa Rica.