ATM Safety

Here are a few helpful safety tips to remember when using an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM):

1. Scope the area.

Make a conscious effort to scope the area immediately adjacent to the ATM machine. Look for suspicious people or situations. If something does not look right, do not make your transaction. Leave the area and use another machine or come back at another time.

2. Close the door.

If the automated teller machine facility is equipped with a door, close it!

3. Limit your time at the machine.

Prior to arriving at the ATM site, have your card out to avoid any delay of going through your purse or wallet to find it.

4. Cover your transaction.

Use your body to block the keyboard from view. By doing this, you will prevent someone from learning your Personal Identification Number (PIN).

5. Do not publicly show your cash.

Put your cash in your wallet or purse, check to see that you have your card and receipt and leave the ATM immediately. The most important thing to remember is not to leave with cash exposed. Carefully watch for anyone approaching, or starting to follow you.

6. Always keep your Personal Identification Number a secret.

Never give the number to anyone or write it down anywhere. Memorize it or use a secret code if you must write it down.

7. Notify us upon the loss your card or PIN.

Notify us immediately if your ATM access card or secret PIN is lost or stolen.

8. Never let anyone use your card or access code.

Law enforcement officers or financial officials will never ask for these items. Be suspicious if anyone does ask for these items.

9. Be on the lookout for ATM "Skimming."

ATM skimming is a crime where thieves attach a device to an ATM to capture your card information. Skimming devices can include a small magnetic head used to capture your account information, and a small camera or mirror to view the keypad when you enter your PIN.

Quick Facts about ATM skimming:
  • Skimming devices can include:
    • Magnetic heads: Attached and inserted into the ATM's card reader to log account information and PINs.
    • Cameras: Attached to an ATM to view the keypad, these small, wireless devices are used to record your PIN.
    • Mirrors: Used to view the keystrokes when entering your PIN.
  • Some devices interfere with the ATM operation while others do not.
  • Once information is captured, thieves can easily create a duplicate card and access the account.

What you can do to prevent criminals from obtaining account information through skimming:

  • Get familiar with the ATMs you use: Keep your eye on the bank card slots, PIN keypads and where the envelope/brochure holders are located. Skimming device cameras are typically mounted on these objects.
  • Stick with ATMs located at banks: It may be better to use an ATM at a bank location rather than a stand-alone ATM. The bank machines are more closely monitored, and less likely to have a skimming device go undetected.
  • Watch out for mirrors: Look for a mirror that seems out of place. Mirrors are required by law to be installed at ATMs so you can spot someone looking over your shoulder. But an extra mirror could be an attempt to steal your pin number, usually by a thief who's standing close by.
  • Check the card slot: Look for a false slot attached to the original card slot. It may stick out farther or look newer than the machine. If it looks suspicious, do not use the ATM.
  • Report it: If something seems strange or suspicious at an ATM location, report it to the bank staff or the bank's security department. Do not remove any suspected skimming device.

10. Be extra careful at night.

Much ATM crime occurs at night, so if possible use an ATM during daylight hours. If you need to access a machine when it's dark, make sure it's in a well-lit area. If the lights aren't working, don't use it. Also, bring a friend with you.