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ATM security tips and tricks

Electronic banking at ATMs is a fast and convenient way to withdraw cash, make deposits, check account balances, transfer funds and more. If you use ATMs to conduct financial transactions, make security a priority.

Keep your card secure

Treat your debit card like cash. Always keep your card in a safe place. It's a good idea to store your card in a card sleeve, which protects the card's magnetic strip.

When it comes to your debit card, make sure you:

  • Secure your PIN (personal identification numbers), but not on your person or in your wallet, and never write them on the card.
  • Avoid using digits from your telephone number, Social Security number, date of birth or any number someone could easily figure out.
  • Don't leave receipts at or near the ATM. Verify each transaction in your online banking history or by checking the receipts against your monthly account statements.
  • Don't give your PIN number to anyone. Financial institutions, law enforcement officers or merchants should never ask you for this information.

Security at ATMs

  • Always observe your surroundings before conducting an ATM transaction.
  • Minimize time spent at the ATM by having your card out and ready to use. Do not let anyone see how much money you withdrew and never count your money while at the ATM.
  • Never allow a stranger to assist you in conducting an ATM transaction, even if you have trouble or if your card is stuck.
  • Stand between the ATM and anyone waiting to use the terminal so that others cannot see your PIN or transaction amount.
  • If you see anyone or anything suspicious while conducting a transaction, cancel your transaction and leave immediately. If anyone follows you after making an ATM transaction, go immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
  • Look for possible fraudulent devices attached to the ATM. If the ATM looks different or appears to have any attachments over the card slot or PIN pad, do not use the ATM and, if possible, contact the financial institution.

Precautions for drive-up ATMs

  • Keep the doors locked, windows up and engine running at all times when waiting in line at a drive-up ATM.
  • When possible, leave enough room between cars to allow for a quick exit should it become necessary.
  • Before rolling down the window to use an ATM, observe the entire surrounding area. If anyone or anything appears to be suspicious, drive away quickly.
  • Minimize time spent at the ATM by having your card out and ready to use. Once your transaction is complete, take your money, card and receipt and immediately drive away from the terminal. While conducting a transaction, if anyone or anything appears suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave immediately.
  • If anyone follows you after making your ATM transaction, drive immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.