Today I will share with you simple but very effective ATM safety tips. If you will follow them then I assure you will never become a victim of ATM or debit card fraud. Here I will share with you different types of ATM frauds and how you can prevent them.
ATM machines are a convenient way to perform banking related activities. ATM enables you perform a bunch of banking tasks such as money transfer, cash withdrawal, bill payments and the like.
But it also comes with some serious financial security risks. Banks spend large amount of money to provide safety at ATMs, even though we can read an ATM fraud case on our daily newspaper.
After reading some incidents of ATM frauds, I decided to write a post on ATM safety tips for our readers. You can take simple measures mentioned in this post to safeguard yourself against any debit card fraud.
You might have read some reports about ATM skimmers who withdrew money from someone’s account, money snatching, or ATM robbery and might be pondering how can you avoid being a victim of such frauds.
Answer is very simple, take few simple measures while withdrawing money at an ATM. The ATM safety tips that I am going to share with you, also recommended bank all banks, are not new but most of us ignore them. First and foremost reason would be this,
Everybody thinks that he would never become a victim of debit card fraud because he is smart enough.
But my friend, I am sure you’re not one of them. Scroll down and read ATM safety tips, follow them and rest assured.
ATM frauds are not limited to India only people all around the world become victim of it. And every year it costs in millions. According to Vice, between fourth quarter of year 2019, criminals had stolen ₹128 crore rupees through debit card and credit card frauds.
These are astonishing stats for only three months and if we assume this was the scenario for whole year then in 2019 alone, Indians lost more than ₹500 crores in ATM and online frauds.
I strongly advise you follow below mentioned 12 steps ATM safety guide to safeguard yourself.
ATM safety tips to avoid ATM fraud
Is there any skimming device
Skimmers use skimming devices to steal your ATM password and card’s magnetic stripe information; to make a clone card.
While using ATM machine, if you notice any suspicious device on the machine then do not swipe your card and notify about it to the concerned authorities by calling on their designated numbers (Usually, banks write their numbers at ATMs to register complaints).
So first thing you need to do before you swipe your card is to see if there is any extra device attached to ATM machine card reader or at the front of cash dispenser.
If you find any extra device attached then contact concerned bank.
As discussed above, criminals may use claw-like devices to snatch money at ATMs, they (devices) simply look like part of the machine and mostly installed to the front of cash dispenser to collect cash.
Such devices are hard to spot if attached. Though, nowadays it is very hard to attach such devices due to CCTV surveillance and security; however, if you see that your cash is not dispensed then look at the cash tray to find whether their is any suspicious device attached.
Tip: ATM machines near the banks are more safe to use.
Use ATM alone and beware of shoulder surfing
You might have read outside the ATM machine that one person at a time is allowed. If you’re avoiding this simple warning then you’re unnecessarily putting yourself into danger.
You may become a victim of shoulder surfing. In shoulder surfing, person behind you may try to find out your card’s personal identification number (PIN) by looking over your shoulder.
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The person behind you can see your pin therefore do not allow anyone near your while swiping your card. If person denies to go out then you can seek help of security guard. Don’t worry you’re not messing up with anyone, you’re just following the protocols.
And also never take help from a stranger to complete your transactions. Stay close and cover the ATM keypad with your other hand so no one can see what keys you are pressing.
Also avoid conversation with strangers while withdrawing money.
Rule: Don’t let crowd around you.
Change PIN regularly
I know you have heard and read this ATM safety tip for hundreds of times. But question for you.
When was the last time you changed your ATM security pin?
Probably months ago. This is not a right way to protect your money. From now make a habit of changing your ATM PIN regularly. It takes only 2-3 minutes.
Here is a valid reason, your bank may deny your refund claim, if you become victim of ATM fraud, because you’ve not followed their simple guidelines. It’d be considered as a deliberate negligence.
In terms to protect your bank account against any fraudulent activity you should regularly change your ATM PIN.
You can also change your ATM PIN through internet banking or mobile banking.
Here are things you should also remember pertaining to your ATM PIN:
- Change PIN regularly, ideally after every 3 months.
- Do not write PIN anywhere .
- Set difficult PIN, avoid date of birth, last digits of mobile number, and most common PINs.like 1234, 2222, and the like.
- Do not share your ATM PIN with anyone.
Keep ATM PIN secret
Never write down your PIN (personal identification number) anywhere, always memorize it. The only person who should know your ATM PIN should be you.
Do not hand over your ATM card to anyone to do ATM transactions. Don’t be lazy.
Do not respond/reply
Question for you, what would you do if you get following message through SMS or email?
₹10000 (or $150) has been debited from ‘Your account number’ on ‘present date’. If not w/d, immediately click here to inform ‘suspicouslinkwillbehere.com’
What would you do?
If you’re immediately going to click on that link to stop an unauthorized transaction then it’s a big mistake from your side because you fall in spammer’s trap.
Secondly, if you’re an adroit person then you would know what you’re supposed to do. Here is a tip, ‘check your account balance by logging in to your net banking account or giving missed call to your bank balance enquiry number. If balance is indeed deducted then talk to your bank customer care agent and lodge a complaint ASAP. If it’s a fake message then simply delete it.
Most of us, don’t take burden of lodging complaint against phishing attacks but if you would like then you can register a complaint in your nearest police station to save others.
No bank asks you for your personal information through calls, SMSes, or emails, therefore, never take such things seriously and inform about it to your bank so bank can take an appropriate action.
Spammers, who call you, sound really genuine and you barely can catch them. But whenever you get trapped in any calls, SMSes, or emails one word should pop-up in your head for three times ‘No No No‘.
No matter how much genuine they sound, just say ‘No’.
Whenever you indulge in such situation and you feel tempted simply say ‘BIG NO’ to them.
It might be possible that your bank may indeed contacting you, but as said earlier, in that case, you will not be asked to provide sensitive data such as OTP, PIN, login password.
Register for SMS alerts
Always register your mobile number with your bank account to get SMS alerts for transactions. This way you can monitor your account without visiting your bank branch and you can take a quick action to stop a suspicious activity.
Make sure your mobile number is updated in the bank records so you get each and every transaction detail through SMS and can take prompt action in case of unauthorized transaction.
Nowadays, bank by default send transactions details through text messages, but if you’re not getting then visit your bank branch and register for the same.
Swipe card wisely
If you use debit card for cashless transactions then make sure to swipe it at reliable POS terminal. And keep an eagle eye on your card while it’s being swiped.
Also, at temporarily stalls, prefer cash payment.
Immediately hotlist lost ATM card
Whenever you lost your card promptly block it to minimize any chances of being misused. Just dial customer care number of your bank and inform them about the loss so they can take immediate action to protect your funds.
Read: Is Online Banking Safe?
Before you dispose off your closed or damaged debit card, destroy its magnetic stripe and chip completely. Your card’s magnetic stripe contains sensitive information of your bank account therefore tear it into pieces so it couldn’t be used for ill purposes.
Also, make sure your damaged card is hotlisted. This way you can avoid yearly maintenance charges too.
For your information, damaged card remains active in your bank records. Therefore, whether you use it or not you will be charged for its yearly maintenance charges. Charges will remain in force until you hotlist it.
Don’t save card information on websites
Many, actually all, eCommerce websites let you save your card details for future purchases. I don’t recommended it because in eCommerce website, data can be breached anytime which includes you card information too.
Therefore, follow this simple ATM safety tip of mine, never save your card information, be it credit card or debit card, on online shopping websites.
Besides that, don’t enter your personal and card information on a website who does not have ‘https‘ in the beginning of its website URL. Websites with ‘http’ are more prone to data breach than https (which has now become a security standard for websites).
Collect receipt and wait for welcome screen
In today’s fast-paced world, no one has time and we often see its example at ATM machines. Most of the people leave ATMs without collecting their transaction receipts.
But you don’t do that because transaction receipt contains your bank account information which may be misused by criminals.
Suggestion: Don’t opt for receipts, it’s unnecessary wastage of papers.
Immediately report unauthorized transactions
Whenever you spot an unauthorized transaction, immediately report it by calling to your bank’s customer care number. This way your bank will be able to act swiftly and you will likely be get your refund.
As per banking watchdog authorities such as Reserve Bank of India, if customer informs about an unauthorized transaction within a specified time frame then it will be bank’s responsibility to indemnify the loss (if customer is at no fault).
These are very easy to follow ATM safety tips that anyone can follow. This is all your bank asks you to do from your side. If still you become a victim of ATM fraud and you’re at no fault then bank will indemnify your lose.