ATM Safety and You

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.

Location, Location

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 parties.

And speaking of tampering…

Cameras: The Good and the Bad

Cameras are 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.

Numbers Matter

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 now recorded.

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.

Final Words

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.

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