An ATM is a convenient way to get cash when you’re on the go. You can find an ATM almost anywhere – shopping centers, convenience stores, sporting venues, you name it. However, as with any good thing, you need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your money. Criminals take advantage of the accessibility and convenience of ATMs in an effort to defraud unsuspecting consumers.
ATMs and other card-reading devices are susceptible to skimming, a process used by criminals to hijack your card information and steal your money. Skimming is pretty common, but by taking a few simple precautions, you may be able to detect a skimming device and avoid being a victim.
So how can you protect yourself from this fraud? There are certain steps you can take to safeguard your information when using an ATM or other card reader, such as at gas pumps.
Wiggle the card reader: If it moves or comes off, the machine has been tampered with and you should not use that machine. Report the tampered machine to the business owner or law enforcement immediately.
Look for other red flags: Loose wires, tiny holes, scratches, tape, or anything else suspicious on the machine can be a sign that it is not safe to use. Report the tampered machine to the business owner or law enforcement immediately.
Cover the keypad when you type in your PIN number: Sometimes criminals place small cameras close to the number pad in order to obtain your PIN as it is being entered.
Be selective about your ATMs: Be aware that ATMs located in bars and restaurants are not monitored as frequently as those near banks.
Check your bank account often for signs of suspicious activity: If someone does gain access to your account, contact the bank immediately. Century Next Bank offers great protections through the Brella app which allows you to set up customized notifications of debit card activity, even disabling your own card if something isn’t right until you can notify the bank.
At Century Next Bank, our goal is to provide you with the know-how and tools that you need to keep your money safe. If you have any questions, give us a call at 866-454-9228.