Automated teller machines (ATMs) have almost replaced the bank branch. You can do a whole lot of things at an ATM, from checking your balance to investing in a fixed deposit to paying your insurance premiums or even settling utility bills. More number of services means more footfall and, therefore, a higher risk of fraud. But keeping a few things in mind can make your ATM transactions safe.
AT the ATM
ATM centres to avoid: As much as possible, try and go to an ATM centre you are familiar with. It’s best to avoid ATMs located at isolated places and crowded places, where too many people can see you withdraw money. If you see any suspicious looking people around the ATM centre you regularly visit, be careful.
Receipt’s safety: If you take an ATM receipt or take a printout of a mini statement, it’s best to carry it with you. If you don’t want to do that, tear it before disposing it into the ATMs waste paper bin.
Avoid distraction: Don’t be in a hurry while making a transaction. Avoid talking on your cellphone or doing another task along with the ATM transaction. A few seconds of distractions may prove costly. You may not be able to collect cash in time, or become a victim of pick pocketing.
Card’s safety: If the ATM does not dispense the cash, or the card gets jammed in the ATM, call the bank immediately and inform it about the same. Ensure that you save your bank’s customer service number on your cellphone.
Tip: Many banks allow you to set a daily withdrawal limit; this may cap your losses in case you indeed become a victim of fraud.
Punch carefully: As per regulatory norms, you have to feed in your personal identification number (PIN) for every transaction you make. This means you may have to feed in your PIN multiple times during a single visit. The best practice is to use one hand to punch in the PIN and use the other to cover your punching hand. That way, even if the fraudster has placed a camera, or is observing your hand movement from a distance, he won’t be able to guess your PIN.
Keep it safe: Never write your PIN anywhere; memorize it instead. Do not keep as PIN any obvious or predictable numbers, such as your date of birth or your car’s registration number. Change your PIN regularly, especially when you feel that the PIN has been compromised.
Steer clear of misleading information: Punching the PIN in reverse order won’t alert the police. This information just isn’t true and you should not fall for such misleading information.