Because there are so many various types of ATM’s in different areas, there is no one single safety technique that can guarantee ATM security. Therefore, it is necessary for all ATM users to be aware and use the proper safety measures accordingly.
Criminals are opportunists and they will prey upon the unsuspecting and unprepared victim. They will also pick an ATM in places that increase their chances of being successful at completing the crime.
For better safety when using an ATM, keep these six safety tips in mind:
1) Safe location
Choosing safe locations when using an ATM is a number one priority. Choose a location well exposed and not covered or hidden behind any walls, shrubbery or partitions.
Many Police stations are starting to put ATM’s inside their lobby, and you probably cannot get any safer than that.
Once you find a good ATM that you feel safe and secure using, you should try and always use it. This practice of using the same ATM will help you not only become familiar with the normal surroundings, but you will be able to notice when something is out of the ordinary or suspicious. In addition, if a thief uses your card or number at various other ATM’s then you can easily prove to the Bank that the use of your card was not by you and was not in your normal pattern of ATM usage.
2) Conceal your card and pin number
Covering your card the entire time you use the ATM is very important. Consider the fact that someone is watching you behind you or even worst, videotaping you from a parked car. A camera can zoom in closely and capture your card number, your full name and your pin number.
3) Be aware of your surroundings
When you arrive at an ATM location, look around and notice if there is anyone suspicious. You may encounter homeless or panhandlers, people selling items or someone just loitering or standing around. Do not us this ATM and move onto another one.
4) Have your card ready
When you approach the ATM, already have your card in your hand. Do not be distracted by fumbling through your wallet or purse looking for your card.
5) ATM scam
Examine the ATM, if you notice anything out of the ordinary then move on. A thief can install a small micro camera in the envelope holder next to the key pad, which will record your every move, card number and pin.
Another device is the false card slot that fits over the original ATM card reader. It will appear normal looking, and as you slide your card, it will record your card number. Pull on it to make sure it is real.
Never allow anyone to help you at an ATM. The ‘trap scam’ is where the scammer inserts a trap that will hold your card inside the machine. Once you put your card in the machine, it will not come out. The scammerthen poses as someone willing to help and mentions to you that he had the same thing happen to him and tell you to enter your pin while holding down the cancel key. You follow his advice and enter your pin number while the scammer watches, your card does not come out, and you believe the Bank has confiscated your card so you leave. Once you are gone, the scammer pulls the trap out along with your card, uses your pin, withdraws your money, and you have been scammed.
If your card is stuck in the machine, call the Branch from your cell phone for assistance.
6) Complete your transaction
When you complete your ATM transaction, many ATM machines will display a window that will ask, “Would you like another transaction“? If you walk away without pressing “No” a thief who may have watched you put in your pin number could press “Yes”, make another transaction, and with draw more cash from your account.
Make sure after completing your transaction that you close out the ATM.
• do not use privately owned ATM or cash machines
• do not use sidewalk/wall or confusing looking ATM machines
• do not stand at the ATM and count your cash
• do not use the ATM after dark, unless well lit and someone is with you
• change your pin number regularly
• do not write down or tell anyone your pin number
• do not give your pin number to anyone over the phone
• do not allow anyone to enter your pin for you
• do not respond to emails from your bank asking you to “verify your account information”; Banks already have your information.
• use the convex mirrors on the ATM machine to watch for anyone behind you
• make sure no one follows you to or from an ATM
• if your card is lost or stolen, first report it to bank, and second, report it to the Police
Article also posted on Bukisa.com and AssociatedContent.com by Scott Hallock