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Safety Tip – ATMs

ATM Safety

Recently, there have been well-intended emails being circulated regarding the use of ATM cards and PIN numbers. This email states that if you are ever in a situation where someone is forcing you to withdraw money from your bank account, you should key in your PIN number backwards. This will alert the bank to your situation: you will still receive the money to hand over to the would-be thief, but the bank will immediately alert the police regarding your situation.

This is an URBAN MYTH. It is simply not true.
Below are some safety tips for using your ATM.

-Chief Zarro

Be Aware of Suspicious Persons Near the ATM Machine

Be Observant:
The most important key to using your ATM card safety is to be observant and look around for any suspicious persons or activity near the ATM machine. If you see anything that looks suspicious, go to another machine or return later.

Have Your Card in Your Hand:
It is a good idea to have your ATM card in your hand and ready to use as you approach the ATM machine so that you do not have to take extra time at the machine to take the card out of your wallet or purse.

Shield Your Transaction:
Use your body or hand or an object to shield the ATM keyboard when you enter your PIN . Do not give someone else the opportunity to see the number that you are entering.

Don’t Leave Your Receipt:
Be sure to take your receipt or transaction records with you when you leave.

Put Away Your Cash:
Put your cash away immediately in your pocket, wallet or purse. Do not display or count it at the machine. You can always count it later.

Keep Your Car Secured:
Lock your car if you have to get out to use the ATM machine. If you use a drive-up ATM machine, lock all doors and be sure the passenger-side windows are rolled up.

Using an ATM at Night:

  • If possible, take another person with you.
  • Park in a well-lighted area as close to the machine as possible.
  • Do not use the machine if the lights on it are not working.
  • If the view of the ATM machine is blocked by overgrown shrubbery or trees, or any other objects, use another machine.
  • Notify the bank about the visibility problem.

Protecting Your ATM Card:

Keep your ATM card a safe place and protect it just like you would cash, credit cards or checks. Do not leave it around where others can see your card, at home or at work. If your card is missing or stolen notify your bank immediately.

Never write down your Personal Identification Number ( PIN ) anywhere, especially on your ATM card or on a note in your wallet. Keep your PIN number secret from everyone.

If you receive a call supposedly from your bank or possibly the police wanting to verify your PIN, do not give out that information. Notify the police immediately that you received such a call. Never give any information about your ATM card or PIN over the telephone.

Ed Schapley