ATM Safety Makes Sense*
Let Common Sense Be Your Guide
Your ATM card provides you
with instant access to your deposit account, 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. You can use it to withdraw money or make deposits at automated teller
machines (ATMs) and to make purchases at a growing number of retail locations.
Given the widespread availability
of ATM access and the convenience it affords, using an ATM card has become
an important part of everyday life for many consumers. By following some
common sense guidelines, you can help ensure that your transactions will
be safe, as well as convenient.
The fact is, incidence of crime
at ATMs has been low. Still, as with almost everything else you do at
a public location, the opportunity for crime does exist. So, the next
time you use your ATM card, let common sense be your guide. Take these
simple steps to help safeguard your personal safety and privacy.
Personal Safety at the
1. Always pay close attention
to the ATM and your surroundings. Don't select an ATM at the corner of
a building -- corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the
center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted
location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
2. Maintain an awareness of
your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people
trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in
a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM make sure you are not being followed.
If you are, drive immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded,
well-lighted location or business.
3. Do not use an ATM that appears
unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
4. Do not allow people to look
over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN; never write
it on the back of your card. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats
your card -- contact a bank official.
5. Do not wear expensive jewelry
or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the
6. Never count cash at the
machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure
7. When using a drive-up ATM,
keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver
between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
8. Maintain a supply of deposit
envelopes at home or in your car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior
to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent
at the machine.
9. Closely monitor your bank
statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems
to your bank.
10. If you are involved in
a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, COMPLY.
11. If you know of, or experience
a crime at an ATM, report it immediately to the ATM owner and to the local
Source: The Electronic Funds Transfer Association, and
the Los Angeles Police Department.
Keep your Personal Identification
Number (PIN) a secret.
Your ATM card will work only
with a PIN. Memorize your PIN. Never write your PIN on your card or store
it with your card. Do not use your birth date as your PIN, especially
if you carry your driver's license with your card. Never tell your PIN
to anyone or let anyone else enter your code.
• Never give card information
out over the phone.
No one else ever needs to know
your PIN- not even representatives of your financial institution, retail
clerks or the police.
• Shield your PIN.
To guard against others observing
you as you key in your PIN at a terminal, stand directly in front of the
keyboard or PIN pad to block the view of anyone standing near you.
• Report a lost or stolen
card at once.
Even though your ATM card cannot
be used without your PIN, report a lost or stolen card to your financial
• Keep your receipts.
To guard against transaction
fraud, check your receipts against your monthly statement. If anything
looks irregular, or there are any unauthorized transactions, report them
to your financial institution immediately.
• Let common sense be your
By taking these simple precautions,
you can help ensure that your personal safety and privacy are protected
with each transaction you perform.
*Courtesy of Cash Station,