Using an ATM has become a routine event for most consumers. The familiarity of the task can cause people to lose the sense of caution that normally accompanies handling cash. Please keep the following safety tips in mind.
- Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious people or circumstances, do not use the machine.
- Avoid ATM’s that are located at the corner of a building because corners create blind spots.
- If shrubbery has overgrown an ATM or if a tree blocks the view, find another ATM location.
- Use ATM’s that are in highly visible locations. It is much easier for criminals to tamper with machines that are not being regularly watched.
- Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to possible assailants.
- Have your debit card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM. Don’t fumble for the card in your purse or wallet while at the machine.
- Visually examine the ATM for skimming devices. Possible clues are sticky, misaligned pieces, loose or extra attachments on the card slot or noticeable resistance when pushing the keypad. If you are suspicious, terminate the transaction.
- Be careful that no one can see you enter your PIN at the ATM. Use your other hand or body to shield the keypad as you enter your PIN.
- Do not count or visibly display any money you received from the ATM. Instead, immediately put the cash into your pocket or purse and count it later.
- When leaving an ATM, be sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to a police or fire station or to a crowded, well-lighted business or location.
- When using a drive-up ATM, keep the engine running, the doors locked and passenger windows rolled up. Leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you.
- When using a walk-up ATM, be extremely aware of people behind you. If they get too close, cancel the transaction and leave immediately.
- Lock your car if leaving it to use a walk-up ATM.
- If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, COMPLY. Report the incident immediately to the police and to the credit union.
Special Precautions for Using an ATM at Night
- If you must use a walk-up ATM at night, park close to the machine in a well-lighted area.
- Take another person with you if at all possible.
- If the lights at an ATM aren’t working, don’t use it.