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Drew: ATM Tips and your safety

By Samuetta Hill Drew

Keeping up with banker’s hours is almost obsolete in today’s society. Only when a person has a need do they actually venture inside a bank to conduct a transaction. Most people prefer to use the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).

The convenience of the ATM makes it extremely popular. No longer is one required to adjust their schedule to retrieve your money or make deposits from/to your bank account to a few physical locations. Your money is readily available at an ATM in multiple locations worldwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ATM cards can be used not only at all ATM banking machines to retrieve cash, but, some retail stores and grocery stores offer this service as well. Deposit transactions can also be conducted at an ATM. The word convenient is almost a understatement, but with this convenience comes some suggested safety tips. This article will highlight a few.

  • If you choose a walk-up ATM location which does not have a drive-through service, make sure it is well-lighted. Also park close to the ATM machine. It is suggested you not leave your vehicle engine running. The decision rather to keep your vehicle engine on or off is a personal one based upon the ATM location.
  • When using an ATM drive-through location, keep your vehicle engine running, lock all doors and only open the driver’s window. Make sure you take your receipt with you regardless whether it’s a walk-up or drive-through after completing your transaction because of the valuable personal information it contains. I have found other individual’s receipts hanging from the machine after they’ve driven off on more than one occasion. Avoid this at all cost.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when conducting transactions, either through a drive-through machine or a walk-up location, especially after hours. Try not to use fairly secluded locations particularly late at night.
  • Be cautious of anyone who tries to have a conversation or tries to distract you when you’re approaching the ATM. If someone is approaching while you’re in the middle of conducting a transaction, cancel your transaction, pocket your card and leave immediately especially if they look suspicious.
  • Do not count your money or display your cash at the ATM. Drive away a short distance, then count your money.
  • Don’t leave your card lying around at work or home. Never write you ATM PIN on your card!  Never write your PIN number down and keep it with your ATM card. It is best to memorize your ATM PIN number. Also, never give your PIN number to anyone. No one can access your account without your PIN. Get with your bank or go on your bank’s website if you need an easier PIN number. They can help you change it. Don’t select an obvious PIN like 1234 or your birthday.
  • Report a lost or stolen ATM card immediately to your bank. Keeping an Eye on Safety of your personal financial information requires a few simple extra steps, but the reward is worthwhile.