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5 ATM Safety & Security Tips

Over the years, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) crime has become more common. As technology continues to progress, it is becoming easier to steal identities. Today, consumers must be cautious about the locations they choose to withdraw money – is the ATM on a dimly lit, quiet corner? Areas like this are prime targets for identity thieves, who lurk around ATMs to obtain PIN numbers and other personal information from unsuspecting people. We offer 5 tips to stay safe but first, what is your bank’s role in preventing ATM crime?

The Bank’s Role in ATM Safety

Fighting back against ATM fraud is a cooperative effort between you and your bank. Customers are expected to be smart when using an ATM and financial institutions are responsible for placing ATMs in visible areas to help you achieve this. Failing to trim back shrubbery or change a light bulb could be an invitation for thieves to hide in the shadows.

ATM Safety Tips to Remember

While there is no denying that ATMs have made banking more convenient, the ease at which we can withdraw cash also poses risks. With more than 3.5 million ATMs worldwide, we must exercise caution when withdrawing, transferring and depositing money.

  1. Be Prepared

When you approach the ATM, be ready with your card in-hand. If you are rifling through your bag and not paying attention, someone could move towards you unnoticed. You also do not want a thief to see you have a wallet full of other cards and cash at a vacant ATM.

  1. Protect Your Pin

Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) should never be written down where someone could find it. Choose a number you can remember and do not share it with anyone. At the ATM, make sure no one is watching your transaction and use your body to shield the keypad.

  1. Count Cash Later

Although you want to make sure your withdrawal is correct, it is unsafe to count your fresh bills at the ATM. When there are other customers around, you never know which ones could be thieves. Put your money away immediately and count it when you get home.

  1. Lock Doors & Windows

Whether you use a walk or drive-up ATM, make sure your car is secure from anyone lurking in the shadows. If you will be leaving your vehicle to approach the ATM, turn the car off and lock it up. When using a drive-thru, roll up the passenger windows and lock all doors.

  1. Be Aware of Surroundings

At night, observe the landscape and lighting when you arrive at the ATM. If the lights are not working or the shrubbery is overgrown, go to another location. Notify your bank of anything out of the ordinary – this will help protect other customers and dissuade identity thieves.

To learn more about protecting your personal information, visit our online Security Center

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