With the Advancement of technology, so much has changed. ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) have become a convenient utility that’s accessible to everyone. However, they can compromise your safety.
With scams, fraudster threats, and robberies taking place everywhere, it’s in your best interest to ensure that you safeguard yourself while using an ATM.
You’re the greatest defense when it comes to the security of your personal information.
So the next time you visit the ATM, ensure to keep these safety precautions in mind and prevent fraudsters from duping you or falling prey to ATM scammers.
Types of crimes at the ATM include: identity theft and encounters with criminals.
Follow these SIMPLE tips to ensure a smooth and safe experience at the ATM.
1. Keep your PIN a secret
PIN refers to your personal identification number. It must be kept secret to prevent any person from accessing your account through an ATM.
You can keep your PIN a secret through the following ways:
- Always use your hand to cover or block the view of the keypad when using the ATM Machine. And be on the lookout for hidden cameras that might be placed anywhere to steal your PIN.
- You must stay close to the ATM and never use it when someone is standing very close to you. If you happen to notice someone lingering behind you, simply walk away and come back later.
- Never write down your PIN number anywhere rather commit it to memory. Remember banks will never ask for your PIN so don’t be lured by anyone who asks for it.
- Don’t disclose your PIN to anyone – not even your family members unless you trust them explicitly.
- It’s also a good idea to update your PIN number once every year to keep it fresh
2. Beware of your location and surroundings
Using a secured ATM is essential for your safety especially at night. If you experience any suspicious activity, such as a person waiting a few feet away from you, it’s wise to quickly vacate that ATM machine and find another in a more public and busy street.
Also, avoid using the ATM machine after midnight if you feel the surroundings are unsafe and it’s located in a deserted dark corner.
3. Choose a PIN that is not easy to guess
Select a PIN that is not easy for someone to guess or snoop. It should involve moving your hands across the entire keypad.
Do not also choose numbers such as “0000” or “3333” or “1234” for it’s easy to spot and memorize from a distance.
4. Be on the lookout for a Card skimmer
Check the ATM for a card skimmer. A card skimmer is a device attached to the payment terminal of an ATM and is used to steal your card information when inserting your card to withdraw money.
You can identify and notice a card skimmer if the keyboard doesn’t feel right (asks for your PIN number twice, buttons don’t press easily, too thick, unusually slow, or freezes).
Other times, the card reader slot feels loose and may have a different color scheme other than that of the bank’s brand. Those are often signs of card skimmers in place.
5. Take Good Care of your ATM Card
Don’t just drop your ATM card anywhere. Fraudsters can use encoding machines and get details of your card if they happen to land on your card.
With the details, they can produce another card and withdraw your money from any ATM machine.
So it’s essential to be careful with your ATM card and safeguard your ATM details.
6. Don’t visually count or display any money received from the ATM
After taking your money out of the ATM, immediately place the cash into your wallet or purse and count it later only when you reach a safe place. Stay alert at all times.
It’s not wise to handle money in a public area
7. Beware of fraudsters that pose as security guards.
Do not just give your ATM card to them anyhow unless you don’t mind serving a stranger your wallet or purse.
8. Only take out your ATM Card as you approach the ATM Machine
Have your debit card ready to go as you approach the ATM machine and never disclose the back or front of the ATM card to anyone.
If you need to search through your wallet or purse instead of using the ATM, you’re likely to be caught by criminals in the due process off-guard.
9. Never leave your receipts and transaction records behind
Always taking your transaction records or receipts with you can help you safeguard against any of your personal information finding its way into the wrong hands.
10. Sign-up for Account Alerts
If your bank offers alerts, please sign-up for them. These alerts will inform you whenever there is irregular activity happening on your debit or credit card whenever it’s used.
The emergence of ATMs has made cash withdrawal very easy. Put in mind that BANKS AND CARD COMPANIES WOULD NEVER ASK YOU (CARD HOLDER), YOUR PIN NUMBER. So stay alert for any scamming emails from fraudsters asking your card details and persons impersonating fake identities of card companies or banks.
A little awareness on your part will make your transactions safer. Be very vigilant and protect your CARD.
In case you have more tips to share, dive in the comments section below.