Always be safe when using an ATM.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are hardly ground-breaking technology. After all, they’ve been around for almost fifty years. And while we all use them from time-to-time, we probably do so with little thought about our overall general security. As a result, we thought that it would be a good idea to provide a refresher on some best practices.
Please consider the following when or before approaching an ATM:
- Make sure that the ATM is well lit, clearly visible and nothing appears out of the ordinary
- Be wary of any suspicious individuals loitering in the area
- Do not use your cell phone or anything else which could distract your focus
- Try to complete any slips or deposit envelopes before you get to the ATM
- Have your card out and be ready to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- If you leave your car to use an ATM, be sure to lock it before exiting. When returning be cognizant of the area around the vehicle and have your keys at the ready
Consider these tips while at the ATM:
- Give people ahead of you space to conduct their transactions. Once at the machine, use your body to shield the keypad to make sure that no one can see your PIN.
- Minimize the time spent at the machine or in the ATM vestibule . . . count your money later
- Don’t forget to take your receipt. Discarded ATM receipts are a primary means of identity theft and account fraud. Always shred receipts before discarding them
- If you’re having difficulty with your transaction, it's still never a good idea to allow a stranger to assist you
- Be alert for possible “skimming” devices which may be attached to the ATM’s card slot. In these scenarios thieves install an electronic “reader “device, which is designed to capture card information. If an ATM appears unusual, for instance the card slot is bulky or protruding, use another ATM
- When using a drive-up ATM, only open your window when you are ready to make a transaction. Keep your doors locked and the engine running
- Upon completion, if you are ever followed go to the nearest public area and call the police
Remember, if you are suspicious of anything the best course of action is always to leave the area and go to another ATM. You should also report anything suspicious to the bank that operates the ATM.