Managing money for my research this summer just got a new wrench in the works.
Jon and I returned to the city from our trip to find that my bank account balance was NEGATIVE when it was supposed to have about $2000. I spent 40 minutes trying to log into ING to figure out what was going on but the ING site is so bandwidth intensive that the slow internet just couldn't handle it.
It turns out I was a victim of widespread ATM fraud plaguing US bank accounts here. My mom logged into ING for me to find out what happened (NINE separate fraudulent withdrawals) and reported all of them. My ING debit card is now canceled. I might be able to use my other account, but I probably shouldn't use any ATMs until they straighten this ATM fraud mess out.
We used Jon's debit card at the ATM because we literally had only $2 cash, but we'll be keeping a close eye on his account from now until he goes home on Tuesday. We can use some money from his account to tide me over, but before I return to Nyota I need over $1000 in hand because I won't have access to a bank again until just before I leave in August.
On the positive side, I'm confident that I'll get my money back, though it may be a while. We'll push some money around from different accounts and straighten it all out when the money is returned. This just makes it all a fews steps more complicated.
I haven't figured out exactly how to handle this yet, but at least I'll be in the city for a few days. I hope I can get this straightened out (i.e. enough cash in hand) by Tuesday evening so I can get back to Nyota on Wednesday.