While ATMs are convenient, it just makes sense to exercise caution when using one. This includes protecting your ATM Card, Personal Identification Number (PIN) and cash from view of others, and being aware of your surroundings. Here's a quick list of things to keep in mind.
- Protect Your Card and PIN. Don’t write your PIN on your card or keep a written copy of it in your wallet or purse. Don't give your PIN to anyone, including family or friends. ATM fraud is most often committed by individuals who know the ATM cardholder.
- Be Prepared. Have your ATM Card ready and in your hand as you approach the machine. Don't pull it out of your wallet or purse when you get there.
- Conduct Your Transactions Privately. Use common courtesy at the ATM. Give people ahead of you space to conduct their transactions privately. When you use the ATM, make sure no one watches you enter your PIN. Use your body to shield the ATM keypad the view of others.
- Do Not Use Remote ATMs. In addition to the personal risk associated with free-standing machines, these ATM locations cannot be monitored as effectively as "in-branch" machines. As a result, these machines are more likely to be used as targets for the new "skimming" fraud schemes.
- Look For Skimming Devices. This takes place when a thief puts a device over the card slot of the ATM which reads your card's data as it passes into the ATM. These are usually used in conjunction which small remote video recording devices that are aimed to capture your PIN as you enter it. When using any ATM, be aware of anything that may look unusual about the card slot area of the ATM. If you suspect that it has been tampered with, report it to the bank or local police immediately. For more information about what to look for, check out our skimming devices page.
- Count Your Cash Later. Put away your cash, receipt and ATM Card immediately and leave the ATM premises. It's best to count your money later.
- Lock Your Vehicle Doors. If you leave your vehicle and walk to the ATM, turn off your ignition and lock your vehicle. If you use a drive-up ATM, be sure to roll up passenger windows and lock vehicle doors before entering the drive-up area.
- Observe Lighting and Landscape. Use extra caution when using an ATM at night. If the lights at an ATM are not working, do not use it. If shrubbery or trees block the view, select another ATM and notify the Bank. In fact, it's a good idea to notify the Bank whenever you notice anything out of the ordinary at an ATM -- from overgrown bushes or poor lighting to malfunctioning or tampered equipment.
- Take a Friend At Night. If you must use the ATM at night, consider taking a friend along.