We live in a digital world that makes everyday life easy (Mobile Banking Apps, Mobile Wallets, and Debit/Credit Cards) and often don’t even think about needing cash—until you do. ATMs can be a quick and easy way to grab money or make deposits, making these machines a natural target for thieves.
The next time you make a quick stop at an ATM, keep these 4 Safety Tips in mind to protect you and your money:
- Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings, and don’t use an ATM if you observe any suspicious persons or circumstances.
- Be prepared. Have your card in hand when approaching the ATM. Make sure to protect your information by using your hand or body to shield your PIN. And always take your receipts.
- Be cautious. Park near walk-up ATMs. For drive-up ATMs, roll up all passenger windows and lock your doors before and immediately following your transaction. Also, consider pulling up as close as possible to the ATM, so there is limited space for someone to walk up next to you.
- Be careful. Put your money away immediately. Wait until you return to your car or are in a safe place to verify your withdrawal.
If you need to use an ATM at night, it’s essential to take special precautions. Make sure that you park in a well-lit area that’s close to the ATM. If possible, take another person with you so they can observe your surroundings while you’re at the ATM. If the area around the ATM is blocked by overgrown shrubbery or the lights on the ATM are not working, find another location.
ATMs can also be an opportunity for fraudsters to steal your card information. This is done by attaching a skimming device to the ATM (or fuel pump) and will capture card information when you insert or swipe your card. To protect yourself, visually inspect the ATM and look for:
- Sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive used to affix the device.
- Scratched, damaged, or crooked parts.
- Loose or extra attachments to the card slot.
- Noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad.
If you notice any of these things, do not use the ATM and notify the financial institution or business owner. For more card security measures, check out this blog post.
Our priority is to help you manage your money on your terms and help you stay safe. Keeping these tips in mind could eliminate potential risks.