Withdrawing cash is usually a timed activity. You have to visit the bank as per its working hours, carry cheques, and wait in queues to get your own money. ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) have simplified this process. It is apt to call them ‘Any Time Money’ machines! Unfortunately, people target ATMs to cheat you out of your hard-earned money.
Here are 10 ways to ensure your safety. Because it is better safe than sorry!
1. Visit an ATM in a busy neighbourhood: Never visit an ATM in secluded spots and corners. Always make it a point to go to an ATM in a well-lit and crowded area. Since there will be people around, someone may help, if needed.
2. Visit in the busy hours: Late in the night and the wee hours of the day are convenient for thieves. Go at an hour when you see a lot of people around. If you are in dire need of cash, take someone along and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
3. Examine the machine: Sometimes, fraudsters tamper with the ATM machines. They may put fake panels on the machine. These trick you into believing that the machine is not dispensing any money. Placing spy cameras to record your PIN is a common con too. Always check the machine before using.
4. Beware of strangers: If the money get stuck and a stranger comes to help -beware! It could be a trap. Instead, call the bank’s customer service. Only the bank/ATM representatives can help you.
5. Do not leave your card unattended: If the card is stuck or the money is not dispensed, call security. Leaving the card unattended or transaction mid-way is an opportunity for thieves. Misusing your card is not difficult.
6.Protect the PIN at all costs: Do not share your PIN with anyone, not even bank officers. Your PIN is a password for your card and you shouldn’t write it down either. A four-digit number is not difficult to remember.
7. Be vigilant: Keep an eye out on the surroundings of the ATM kiosk. If you feel suspicious, postpone the transaction. If you feel someone is following you, rush towards a busy street.
8. Accept the ATM transaction receipt: Keep it to cross-check your account statements. If there is a mismatch, report it to the bank immediately. Even if you don’t need it, tear and carry the receipt with you and throw it at home.
9. Be careful at drive-thru ATMs: Keep the windows and doors locked, and engine on when using a drive-thru ATM. This eliminates the chances of someone mugging you.
10. Count later: Counting cash at the ATM is an open invite to thieves to come rob you. Once withdrawn, put the money in your bag and walk out.
This work is produced by Simplus Information Services Pvt Ltd.