Tips for Improving ATM Safety

The automated teller machine (ATM) is one of life’s little conveniences.  When needing cash, one is no longer restricted to banking hours, with a multitude of ATM machines in strategic places, cash is available almost anytime, anywhere.

Unfortunately ATM machines do not only draw those in need of cash, they are also a hot spot for crime.  You as a customer should be aware of the dangers.  The following tips might secure your safety.

– Pick an ATM machine in an open, well lit area with lots of traffic.  Machines that are placed in a remote location, a hidden location, or where not many people are around, are to be avoided.

– Should you find yourself in a closed room, lock the door to avoid someone entering while you are drawing money or in the middle of a transaction.

– Never write down your pin number.  Memorize your number and when keying in the number on the keypad, shield the pad with your hand.  You never know who might be watching.

– Avoid making withdrawals at night.  In the event that you need cash at night, take a friend along who can stand guard while you complete your transaction.

– Should you run into difficulties, never ask for help from strangers.  If someone offers to help, politely refuse.  Cancel your transaction and walk away or go inside the bank and ask one of the clerks for help.

– When receiving your cash, put it in your purse right away.  Avoid counting it or flashing it.  Always keep the receipt.  In the event that you didn’t get the right amount, don’t cause a scene and attract attention to yourself.  Go inside the bank or call the toll free number and file a complaint.

– Memorizing the toll free number, or have it written down somewhere is a good idea.  For any discrepancies, or should your card be stolen or lost, you can call this number right away.

– Take a few banking envelopes home with you.  Should you need to deposit money you can fill these envelopes with cash at home, rather than doing so at the ATM machine. 

– Keep the paper slips the machine gives you.  Whether you are withdrawing cash, depositing or asking for a balance enquiry, never throw the piece of paper on the ground.  If you don’t need a paper receipt chose the ‘No Receipt’ option.  When asking for a balance enquiry, chose the ‘Display on Screen’ option.

– Keep your eyes and ears open, it pays to be alert.