ATMs are extremely popular because they’re convenient and easy to use. However, using ATMS involve a level of risk as depositors are exposed to various forms of scams like identity fraud, not to mention robbery. According to a report by the Manila Bulletin, depositors have lost P400 million through ATM fraud from 2012 to 2013. But don’t panic just yet. If you keep in mind these five tips, your ATM transactions will go smoothly and safely.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to use ATM machines with enough lighting, clearly visible from the street, and if possible, near banks with security guards.
- Be careful with your PIN. Don’t disclose your PIN to anyone. Don’t write it down. Don’t use your birthday or combinations from your phone number, or any obvious number combination. If there’s a line behind you, make sure to cover your hand while typing in your PIN. Similarly, take good care of your card. If you lose your card, report it to the bank immediately.
- Watch out for card-skimming. Card skimming is the illegal capture of a cardholder’s PIN and card information, via “skimming plate” installed by scammers on an ATM. These scammers then create a card that enables them to withdraw or run up charges to the victim’s account. This is also a way for them to steal a cardholder’s personal and account details, thus allowing them to borrow money in the victim’s name. If the card reader or slot on your ATM looks bulky or unusual, use another ATM and report with your bank about possible skimming activity.
How card skimming works
- Throw away your receipt. Even if the account numbers aren’t displayed on them, receipts still contain information which may be used by scammers for identity theft. Never leave them behind. Trash bins are located next to ATMs in most locations to help you dispose of your receipt properly.
- Minimize your time at the ATM. Know what transaction you want to conduct before going to the machine. Once your card and money pops out, place them immediately inside your bag. Count your cash once you’re in a safe place away from the ATM.
Banks now offer added protection for their customers through increased security measures in transactions and insurance protection for cardholders. But when it comes to safety measures, nothing beats common sense and awareness of one’s surroundings. Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own safety when using ATMs.