How to use ATM safely
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are a very convenient way of withdrawing money. They can be found everywhere: banks, malls, restaurants and petrol stations. ATMs can be convenient. However, every time you visit an ATM to withdraw or deposit cash, you are exposed to risk of being mugged/robbed. Criminals are always on the lookout for opportunity to get your money, and what better time rob you than after you get your cash? That said, you can reduce the risk by observing common sense when using the ATM.
Below are steps you can take to protect your cash (and yourself) when using an ATM:
- Take a friend with you if possible - especially at night.
- Scan your surroundings before approaching an ATM especially at night. If the machine is hidden from view or located in poorly lit area, visit another ATM.
- Have your card ready before getting out of your car. Make sure you leave your car locked. You don’t want to come back to your car later only to be greeted by a stranger (with a gun/knife) in the back seat, do you?
- Look over the machine before inserting your card. If you notice something that looks unfamiliar on the machine, it could be part of an ATM scam. A card reader and hidden camera can be used to record your card data and PIN number. So if the ATM looks suspicious, go for another one.
- Shield the screen and keyboard with your body so the person behind you cannot see you entering your PIN or transaction amount.
- After getting your cash and receipt, put them and your ATM card away immediately. You can count your money later.
- Make sure no one follows you after making the transaction.
- Lock the doors once you enter the car. Do not count your money without locking the doors first.