ATM, debit & credit card security tips

ATMs are a great convenience, but they can compromise your safety if you are not careful. ATM crime can happen anytime anywhere so follow these tips to help keep you and your money safe.

A hand taking a debit card out of an ATM

Think about your personal safety when using an ATM. Because most ATMs give out cash and many accept deposits, it makes sense to be alert and aware of your surroundings no matter where or when you use an ATM. When you’re by yourself, avoid using an ATM in out-of-the-way or deserted areas. Use ATMs located inside banks or supermarkets where other people are around. Use ATMs in well-lit, public areas.

Be sure to look at the ATM. If it looks like someone has tampered with the equipment, don’t use it. (This could mean that a criminal has attached a “skimmer” to the ATM to steal your financial information.) If a suspicious person offers to help you use the ATM, refuse and leave.

Put your money and ATM card away before you leave the ATM. Always avoid showing your cash. Always verify that the amount you withdrew or deposited matches the amount printed on your receipt. Shred or destroy your ATM receipts before you throw them away.

Report loss or theft!

Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately to the company that issued you the card. If your ATM card or debit card is lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately.

To help you respond quickly in case your cards or ID are lost or stolen, make a chart like this one. Be sure to store the list in a safe place. Never carry it with you.

Sign your card

Sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.

Treat cards like cash

Protect your cards as if they were cash — never let them out of your possession or control. Don’t leave your credit cards …


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