9 Tips to Keep You Safe at ATMsPAI – Sep 15th, 2013
It�s hard to imagine a time without the convenience of an ATM. Like debit cards and online bill payment, they have revolutionized how we access our bank accounts. However, with that accessibility come safety concerns.
Follow these guidelines to remain safe at the ATM:
1) Be aware of your surroundings, the minute you arrive at the ATM
We cannot stress this enough. From the moment you arrive at the ATM to when you leave, pay attention to everything around you. Before you walk up to an ATM, consider if it is well lit, if there are any places a person could be hiding, and if any suspicious looking people are sitting nearby.
When you complete your transaction, do not spend time at the machine. Check your receipt and count your money later. Leave immediately and make sure you are not being followed. If worry you are being followed, go straight to a well-lit public place and call the police.
2) Do not use ATMs that look out of place or strange.
If an ATM has strange markings, screen options or a bulky piece over the swipe mechanism, do not use it. There is a chance it has been tampered with or is not an authorized machine.
3) Input your pin privately.
When entering your pin number, make sure no one around you can see the keypad. Cover it with your other hand or turn your body to block anyone's view.
4) Be smart about your pin number.
Memorize it. It's the only way to be certain no one else can find it and access your account. Also avoid pin numbers that could easily be guessed, such as birth dates, phone numbers and addresses. And of course, never write your pin number on your card (or anywhere, for that matter).
5) Take a friend with you.
If you are unsure about visiting an ATM or visiting one at night, take a friend. This person can help block your pin pad, keep watch and hopefully help deter tempted assailants and thieves.
6) Be smart about your vehicle.
If you use a drive through ATM, leave your doors locked and motor running while accessing the machine. Never block yourself in at the ATM, always have an exit. If you park and get out of your car, lock it, turn off the engine and do not leave the keys inside.
7) Keep an eye on your bank statements.
Pay close attention to what is coming out of your bank account, especially during or after traveling. If you have a question over a transaction or suspicion of theft, call your bank immediately.
8) If you are confronted, do not resist.
If you are involved in any confrontation, comply with the assailant's request. Your money and property can be recovered and replaced: it is not worth the risk.
9) Use common sense.
Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and leave immediately. The best tool you have for judging an ATM's safety is simply using common sense.
Using an ATM is easy and convenient, but it's important to keep safety on your mind. Always trust your instincts and never approach and ATM if you feel uncomfortable about the situation.
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