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Sally asked

He's been robbed!!

Our eldest son has been robbed by some very sophisticated thieves in New Orleans.... they got his money card and milked it of all his funds.  This was his first overseas trip with a bunch of mates and although he may have been a little naive, it is what it is and we need to help him out.  He is an Australian resident and we are in NZ.  He had insurance but will have to wait whilst all the paperwork is processed so in the meantime we are wanting to help him out so his trip is not soured completely and he does not leave the US with a negative outlook.  Can anyone suggest any actions we might take and maybe share their own experiences of a similar situation? 

3 Answers
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answered first by
Mary from Leicester

I am sorry to hear this. I can absolutely understand how concerned you are and do applaud your sensible 'it is as it is' attitude. It isn't something which has ever happened to me (solo female traveller, 30+ countries, no problems whatsoever) but I'm certain it's happened to many others in many countries, especially those who are less experienced in travelling and/or, as you say, 'naive'.  

I assume you have spoken to your son in person about this? I ask because there is an extremely commonplace email (sometimes Facebook) scam where scammers posing as a relative/friend purport to be in dire financial straits in order to phish for more money. So if you have only received the info via email it is sensible to double-check. 

When it comes to card loss or theft it's unusual to have to wait for very long while 'paperwork is processed'. Cards are usually replaced within a couple of days. But as this is (I think?) a currency card (i.e.not an ordinary debit or credit card) the situation may be different (and especially if they took the money via ATMs and must therefore have known the PIN). 

With regard to helping him out, I suggest you first speak to your own New Zealandbank. They will certainly be able to advise you on the easiest and most reliable way of transferring funds to your son. If he has a NZ or Australian bank account, and a card which he can use to access it via United States ATMs, depositing money in his account would be the obvious and most straightforward route. But if he doesn't have a suitable bank card with him you may find that using a money transfer agency such as Western Union is the only option. 

But do check directly with your son and your own bank before doing anything else. 

Hope things work out ok. 


Comments (3)

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Sally
Thanks Mary.... yes we have spoken with him and are trying to sort a very kind Aunty to help him out as she is also in Australia and can transfer some funds rather than wait 4-5 days for an international money transfer from NZ. I did wonder about Western Union and that will be another thing I can look at. Thanks for your help and may your fortunate travels continue!! 😊
 

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Mary
I hope everything gets sorted out asap. :-)
 

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Lisa
Be wary of Western Union, lots of scams use it.
 
 
 

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answered by
Claudia from New York City

Sally,

So sorry this happened to your son. The New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade (the embassy in Washington DC) has a page on Services for New Zealanders. They may be able to help your son. Here is the link: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/north-america/united-states-of-america/new-zealand-embassy-washington/services-for-new-zealanders/

Also, I agree with Mary that you should check directly with your son. There are cases where family members received fake emails from con artists. Here is one example: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/stranded-traveler-scam-hacks-victims-emails-asks-contacts/story?id=16774896


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answered by
Lisa from Wellington

His best bet is to report to local police. He should also seek assistance of the nearest NZ consulate or NZ Embassy. The Embassy/Consulate also has an Emergency Funds system in place where they can assist. 

I would advise him to seek assistance there in the first instance. 


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