How to Use an ATM Safely

  • Common sense is your best guide to using an ATM safely.  If you suspect something isn’t quite right, trust your instincts. Use an ATM or a bank branch where you feel more comfortable.

  • If at all possible, use a machine that is located in a bank location.  It may be easier for criminals to tamper with a machine that is in a non-bank location, such as a grocery store, deli or shopping mall.

  • Choose an ATM that is well-lighted and monitored by a surveillance camera or a security guard.

  • If you are using an indoor ATM that requires your card to open the door, avoid letting anyone that you do not know come in with you. Once inside the vestibule, make sure the door is completely closed behind you.

  • Before proceeding with your transaction, look around to guard against surveillance by anyone who may arouse your slightest suspicion.

  • Minimize your time at the ATM.  Have your card ready. If you"re making a deposit using an envelope, seal the envelope before you head to the ATM.

  • Use your free hand to cover the ATM keyboard while you type in your Personal Identification Number (PIN).

  • Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM swallows your card - contact the bank immediately.

  • If you see anything suspicious, immediately cancel your transaction and leave. Confirm with your financial institution as soon as possible that the transaction was indeed canceled.

  • Make sure to place your money, card and receipt securely in your wallet or on your person before leaving the ATM.

  • At a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, lock all your doors, and close all windows except your own. When using an indoor ATM, be sure to lock your car and take your keys with you; don"t ever leave your car running.

  • Always request a receipt for your transaction. Compare your receipts to your monthly statements.

  • Keep your PIN and your account information secret. Never give information about your ATM card or PIN to strangers or to anyone over the telephone.

  • If your ATM card is lost or stolen report it to your bank immediately. Report the unauthorized use of an ATM machine or ATM card to your bank and to your local police precinct immediately.