12 ways to practice safe ATM transactions

12 ways to practice safe ATM transactions

ATM fraud is on the rise. Here are 12 ways to protect yourself and your account from theft!

1. Look for recent device modifications - Bulky keypads, electrical tape, fresh glue, unworn plastic, etc. These can be signs of a PIN capture device being used.

2. Check for cameras - Tiny pinholes provide clear views of the keypad and are a prime target for recording PINs. Security cameras designed for safety are obvious and are usually mounted further away.

3. Cover the PIN pad - With your other hand, cover the PIN pad to keep your transaction safe from prying eyes.

4. Look for people sitting nearby who are using laptops, PDA's, or cellphones - If they're sitting there for more than a few minutes, they may be eavesdropping using the device.

5. Do not share your PIN with anyone you don't want using your card (and that should be a very small circle) - If you write down your PIN, keep it in a secure location away from the card. Don't carry it in your wallet or record it in your phone!

6. Only use ATMs in well-lit, public spaces - Prefer those that offer drive-up service and don't have buildings or heavy foot traffic nearby.

7. If you have trouble with an ATM, go to the nearest bank branch or use another ATM - DON'T let strangers "help" you with the transaction.

8. Avoid ATMs in tourist hotspots like shopping malls - These high traffic areas make it easier for thieves to work.

9. Monitor your checking account statement regularly - Look for suspicious or unknown charges.

10. Report any unusual account activity to your credit union right away.

11. Remember that POS terminals, gas station consoles and other payment locations are just as vulnerable as standalone ATMs.

12. Whenever possible, process your debit card transaction as a "credit" transaction  - You will be prompted to sign for it rather than enter a PIN that can be seen by the next person in line.


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