Mago Tip: Avoid European Credit Card Scam

These folks worked the scam on us
Check your credit card receipt before you sign it. There is a growing semi-legitimate scam concerning how one’s credit card bill is denominated. In the case of US travelers, you can choose to settle in Euros or dollars, with a very unfavorable exchange rate associated with paying in green backs. As explained at, this “feature” is offered legally for the “convenience” of those who do not want to mess with converting the exchange rate on the spot or businesses that want all their travel receipts in their home country currency. But as a result of this “service,” the vendor and its bank get to split the take on the outrageous exchange rate the consumer is then charged for the bill in dollars.

It is perfectly legal to present the consumer with the choice of Euros or dollars at point of sale (the receipt even informs you of the usurious rate you will be charged), but we have noted several instances wherein the choice is not offered and a receipt in dollars only is presented to the customer. This is fraud even by the EU’s lax standards with respect to credit card mark-ups. Check your bill and refuse to pay in dollars if there is not another option at point of sale.

Morgan Hart was launched in 2011 as a website and virtual storefront to showcase Patti's software and Morgan's content. Dedicated to slow travel, culinary excess, and ripping good yarns, MagoGuide is the digital scriptoria for the Mago Scrolls, Morgan's historical fiction series about the Punic Wars in general and one Mago of Syracuse in particular. Although Morgan has written a great deal of non-fiction over the years in the form of specialized journal articles, book reviews, op-ed pieces, and (his personal favorite) the most unpopular coffee table book in the history of the planet, he always viewed himself as a happily frustrated novelist. Get more information about Morgan's novel and travel writing at our Products page.

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