ATM machines are excellent sources of quick bank withdrawals. They are readily available in
most busy areas, and they are often located in easily accessible locations such
as malls, schools, or even fast food places.
For those who need money
quickly, standing in line at the bank is not an option. While ATMs have their
disadvantages such as withdrawal limits and fees, their convenience is still a major plus.
Most ATMs are often located
outside the range of banks. While this is a convenient matter, it also
decreases the security. To avoid any
hiccups, you should follow some of these points in ATM safety.
One thing to remember about
ATM machines is that location matters. While some areas are less convenient
than others (long lines, crowded spaces, etc.), these often have better
security. Malls for instance have roaming guards during business hours. You are
less likely to meet any muggers before, during, or after using an ATM in these
areas. Isolated ATMs may have shorter waiting periods, but you risk a mugging
with every withdrawal.
In these instances, it is
always better to wait in line with a crowd instead of being alone at an ATM
machine. There is also a lower chance of the ATM being tampered by third
And speaking of tampering…
Cameras: The Good and the Bad
readily available at ATMs. They are there to check and keep a recording of
every transaction. Cameras can take photos of the person using the ATM, giving
them proof in case of issues later on. However, that may not be the only camera
in the ATM. Criminals often places their own cameras around the number pad.
That way, they can see a person inputting their codes.
Another way people can tamper
ATM machines is through the number pad.
This one is fairly simple, they place their own number pads over the original.
This rearranges the numbers (i.e. instead of 789 on top, it becomes 123). By
doing this, people trying to use the machine would press the right buttons, but
would input the wrong digits. They would then leave without any withdrawals.
Little do they know, their passcodes, which they repeated over and over, are
The numbers on your card are
also at risk. People can modify an ATM card receiver into transmitting data to
third parties. This means that as soon as you insert your card in a modified
ATM slot, all your information is at risk.
Criminals can use a variety
of ways to take your information. Spending a few seconds inspecting the ATM
before inserting your card can save you from theft. Check to see if anything
looks out of place. See if the ATM components, such as the card receiver or
number pad, look movable / modified. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Spending time checking these things may make you look ridiculous to the eyes of
people in line, but you can never be too sure.