When you bank electronically at ATMs, it is a fast, easy way to make cash withdrawals, check your account balances, and transfer funds between accounts. As convenient as it is to use ATMs to conduct financial transactions, you must make security a priority. The following are some steps you can take to make ATM security your business.
Keep Your ATM Card Secure
Treat Your ATM Card Like Cash.
Keep Your Card in a Safe Place.
- To protect your card’s magnetic strip, it is a good idea to keep it in a card sleeve.
Keep your personal identification number a secret.
- Your ATM card works only with your PIN. Choose a code that does not include your date of birth, part of your social security number, addresses, or phone numbers. Once you have chosen your code, memorize it. Never write it on or store it with your card. Never tell your code to anyone or let them enter your code for you.
Take your receipt with you.
- Every time you make an ATM transaction, you can get a receipt. Be sure to verify each transaction by checking the receipts against your monthly statements. This guards against ATM fraud.
Never give out any information about your ATM card.
- There is never any reason for anyone to know your personal identification number, not even your financial institution.
- To reduce the chance that a lost or stolen card will be used improperly, report a lost or stolen card right away. You will be issued another card.
Be aware of your surroundings
Park as close as possible
- Observe the surrounding area from your car before getting out of it. If you see anyone or anything that looks suspicious, leave the area immediately.
Check the lighting
- If an ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit, go to another ATM. Make the financial institution that operates the ATM aware of the conditions, if possible.
Take a friend
- It’s a good idea to take a companion along with you when you make an ATM transaction, especially after dark.
- Have your card out and ready to use to minimize time spent at the ATM.
- Never let anyone see how much cash you withdrew.
- Never count your money while you are at the ATM.
- You should never let a person unknown to you help you with an ATM transaction, even if you are having trouble or your card is stuck.
- Stand between the ATM and anyone waiting to use the terminal so that others cannot see your personal identification number or your transaction amount.
- When you have completed your transaction, take your cash, card, and receipt. Then, immediately move away from the terminal.
Look for possible fraudulent devices attached to the ATM
- If the ATM looks different or appears to have any attachments over the card slot or PIN pad, do not use the ATM. If possible, contact the financial institution
- Look for suspicious people or activity
- While you are conducting a transaction, if anything appears suspicious, cancel the transaction and leave immediately.
If anyone follows you after you make an ATM transaction
- Immediately go to a crowded, well-lit area. Call the police.
- Keep your doors locked, windows rolled up, and your engine running. If possible, leave enough room between cars for a quick exit should it become necessary.
- Go to another ATM if an ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit. Report the problem to the financial institution if possible.
Observe the area
- Before you roll down your window to make a transaction, check the area. If you see anything suspicious, drive away at once.
- Have your card out and ready to use to minimize the time spent at the ATM. When your transaction is completed, take your cash, card and receipt.
- Then, immediately drive away from the terminal. If, while you are conducting your transaction, anyone or anything seems suspicious, cancel your transaction and drive away immediately.
- If anyone follows you after you have made your ATM transaction, drive immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
By following these guidelines, you will improve your security whenever you use an ATM. Do you have questions about ATM security? Please ask us.