April 20, 2012 5:08 am
To ensure customer safety at ATMs, most banks place ATMs in areas that are visible by passers-by, trimming landscape to prevent potential criminals from hiding, and installing or upgrading lighting that is bright enough for use at night. Some banks have also installed cameras, rear-view mirrors, panic buttons and special signs. And most banks limit the amount of cash that can be withdrawn on a daily basis.
According to the ABA, bank customers should always use common sense when using an ATM. These tips are a start, but the best advice is simply not to use an ATM if you feel at all uncomfortable doing so. ATMs provide convenience, buy they haven't replaced the bank teller. If you prefer, conduct your business in the bank lobby.
- Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the machine at that time.
- Have your ATM card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM. Don't wait to get to the ATM and then take your card out of your wallet or purse.
- Be careful that no one can see you enter your PIN at the ATM. Use your body to "shield" the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN into the ATM.
- To keep your account information confidential, always take your receipts or transaction records with you.
- Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
- If you are using a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are rolled up and all doors are locked. If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, lock your car.
- Park close to the ATM in a well-lighted area.
- Take another person with you, if at all possible.
- If the lights at the ATM are not working, don't use it.
- If shrubbery has overgrown or a tree blocks the view, select another ATM and notify your bank.
Published with permission from RISMedia.