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ATM Safety Tips

Although crimes committed at or near ATMs remain low, you should always use common sense to better protect yourself when using an ATM.

Look around the area first

Before using an ATM, survey the location. Avoid ATMs located in dark areas, that have obstructions blocking your view or the view of the public, or are in the vicinity of anyone or anything suspicious. If you’re already making a transaction and something suspicious happens, stop the transaction and leave the area.

Allow authorized entry only

If you use an ATM in a locked foyer or vestibule make sure the door closes and locks before you start your transaction. Don’t hold the door open for the person waiting behind you. Each person should have their own card to gain entry.

Drive-up safety

At the drive-up ATM, always be alert to the area around you. Keep your doors locked and the engine running. Open your window only when you are ready to make the transaction. If something or someone in the area looks suspicious, don’t stop at the ATM. If you have already started the transaction, stop it and drive away.

Minimize your time at the ATM

Be prepared to start your transaction when you approach the ATM. Use caution when counting your money. When you are finished, put your receipt, card and money away as soon as possible.

Know what to do

If you’re followed after leaving an ATM, go quickly to a well populated, well-lit area. Report the incident to the police as soon as possible.

Your personal identification number (PIN) is confidential

Your PIN is confidential. Memorize it because your ATM/debit card cannot function without it. Your PIN prevents anyone else from using your card. Don’t write your PIN on your card or store it with your card. Avoid using your birth date or Social Security number as your PIN. Never give your PIN to anyone. Stand directly in front of the ATM keyboard or number pad to block the view of others standing nearby when you are using your card at the ATM.

Report missing cards at once

Although your ATM/debit card can be used only with the correct PIN, you should report a lost or stolen card to your financial institution at once.

Save your receipts

Check your receipts against your monthly statement to reduce the chance of transaction fraud. Report any unauthorized transactions or irregularities to your financial institution.

By following these safety tips, you can help protect your personal safety and privacy every time you use an ATM to make a financial transaction.

FDIC Overdraft Education

See here for Your Guide to Preventing and Managing Overdraft Fees.