The holidays are a time of giving and being thankful for loved ones. Unfortunately, however, with the sweet comes the sour. The holidays also carry more risk of fraud – especially ATM skimming.
ATM skimmers will attempt to get both your card number and PIN number when you use your ATM card at a terminal. In order to stay safe, you must always be vigilant even when you believe you’re in a safe location. These tips will help you stay safer this season:
Protect Your PIN
If there are people waiting to use the ATM, make sure you block the keypad as you enter your PIN number. Even if you’re alone, it’s still a good idea to block what you’re doing in case a hidden camera was installed.
You should never give your PIN away to another person, as you have no idea what they’ll do with it. You should also never write your PIN down anywhere.
Assess Your Surroundings
Does the ATM you’re using look normal? If it looks like it has been tampered with, you’re better off finding another one. You should also use one that has a trusted brand, be it your financial institution or CO-OP or Allpoint networks.
Author’s note: I once saw a non-branded ATM installed in the side of a trailer at a carnival. People were lining up to use it! While it’s entirely possible the carnival is safe, it’s still risky to use ones like that.
Need help finding a trusted ATM? Click here to use our locator!
Check Balances Regularly
Things can happen even if you’re cautious. You can prevent things from getting bad by logging into your account online daily and checking your balance. Review every transaction to verify there aren’t any fraudulent charges.