FAQ: How Do I Keep My Debit Card Safe When Using an ATM?

Author Justin Gilmore

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One of the biggest fears people have when using a debit or ATM card is losing the card or somehow having their card or identity stolen. However, if you’re careful and go about things the right way, you should have nothing to worry about. Here are a few ways you can keep your debit card safe every time you use an ATM.

Be aware of your surroundings

It’s important to exercise some level of caution when using an ATM. Take a look around to make sure no one is watching you or trying to steal your pin number. If there’s a line at the ATM, most people should know to stand a respectable distance behind the person at the machine. When in doubt, cover up the keypad with your hand when entering your pin.

Inspect the machine thoroughly

You don’t have to do a thorough search, but take a quick look at the ATM to see if anything about it looks off. If you have reason to believe the machine has been tampered with in any way, it’s best not to use it. If there’s a component on the ATM that’s not fully attached, it could mean a criminal has placed an ATM skimmer on the machine. Use your best judgment, and if anything about the machine feels off, don’t use it.

Put your card and cash away before leaving

Always put your debit card and any cash you’ve withdrawn back in your wallet or handbag before walking away from the machine. Even if there’s a line behind you, always make sure these items are securely put away so you don’t draw attention to yourself. You also don’t want to risk forgetting your card in the machine, so get in the habit of putting your belongings away before leaving the machine.

Report suspicious activity

If you notice anything wrong with an ATM, alert the proper authorities right away. If you notice any suspicious people around the machine or believe the machine has been tampered with in any way, don’t hesitate before calling for help. If you happen to forget your debit card in the machine, call your bank to cancel it right away. Even if you find it, there’s no guarantee that someone didn’t see it there and steal your information, so cancel the card just to be safe.

Contact National ATM Wholesale to learn more ATM security best practices.

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