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Holiday Safety Tips at the ATM

Holiday Safety Tips at the ATM

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season also comes with an unfortunate increase in fraud and scams. With hectic shoppers rushing around distracted by their to-do lists, thieves are often waiting for the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the shopping madness. 

ATM theft remains a common crime during this time of year since more people tend to make regular cash withdrawals during the holidays. Here are some essential precautions to take when using an ATM to ensure that you and your money are safe.  

1) Your PIN, Your Secret

You should always protect your ATM Personal Identification Number (PIN). Never share your PIN with anyone. When using an ATM, shield your hand when you are entering your PIN. If you suspect that your PIN was stolen or compromised, contact your financial institution right away to notify them and to disable your card. Many institutions also provide the option to disable the card online or through a mobile banking app. 

CAMPUS Members, here is your reminder to download the CAMPUS Card Control App today! The app gives you the ability to turn your card(s) on/off in the event your card goes missing or is misplaced. Learn more about how CAMPUS Cardholders are empowered to manage their cards anytime, anywhere.  

2) Stop the Count

Avoid counting money at the ATM when depositing or withdrawing funds. Before making a deposit, we recommend you count the money at a private place well in advance, preferably at home. In addition, avoid counting cash in your car at the ATM parking lot — you never know who's watching or waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of an unsuspecting victim.  

3) Have Everything Ready 

One of the most common mistakes people make at an ATM is searching for their cards and/or cash while standing or parked at the machine. This distraction gives criminals the perfect opportunity to commit a crime. Be sure to have everything ready before arriving. 

4) Watch Your Surroundings

Always be conscious of your surroundings when visiting an ATM. If any suspicious people are hanging around, or the ATM is not well lit, it may be best to go to another ATM.  

5) Get In and Out

Avoid staying at the ATM for too long. After depositing or withdrawing cash, leave the ATM as quickly as possible. Avoid conversations, especially with strangers. Some people may be there to slow you down and distract you intentionally.

6) Don't Seek Help from Strangers

As strange as it sounds, some people seek help from strangers at the ATM. Even if the network is slow or the machine doesn't seem to work, don't let just anyone help you out. Instead, go to another ATM or find a safe place to call the financial institution and inform them of the problem. 

7) Don't Go Alone at Night

If you intend to visit the ATM at night, make sure you have the company of someone you trust. Criminals are more likely to seek out individuals who are by themselves.  

8) Keep Your Receipt

Don't leave your receipt behind. In the modern world of technology, your receipt could give away important details about your identity, credit card, financial accounts, etc. A skilled hacker can then use this information to access your account or invade your privacy. We recommend you keep the receipt and dispose of it safely, preferably at home. 

9) Be Aware of ATM Skimmers

ATM skimmers are devices attached to an ATM disguised to look like part of the ATM. Fraudsters can use these devices to obtain your account information and personal identification number. The most frequent places for ATM skimmer devices are the PIN keypad and card insert slot. Some signs that an ATM skimmer was placed include a raised or bulky card reader, glue or tape anywhere on the ATM, or a small camera used to capture you entering your PIN. Small cameras, for example, might be located above the PIN pad, on an ATM shelf, or ledge and could be disguised by another object. Go to another ATM if you notice any bulky or loose pieces of equipment attached to the ATM. 

If you suspect that the ATM you’re using may have a skimming device or if you see something that doesn’t quite seem right, notify the financial institution so they can take appropriate action.

10) Request Cash Back

If you don’t need much cash, instead of visiting an ATM to withdraw money, you could ask for cash-back when shopping at a grocery store. This option provides a safer way to obtain cash and is often more convenient than making an extra trip to the ATM. 

CAMPUS Can Help!

We encourage all members to follow these important ATM safety tips, all year round, not only during the holiday season. Keep in mind that ATM cards have a daily withdrawal limit. If you know you’ll need more money on a specific day, stop by any of our convenient service center locations or call 800-367-6440 to request a temporary limit increase. Some restrictions may apply.  

If you need to access an ATM, don’t forget CAMPUS USA Credit Union has 18 locations throughout Alachua, Columbia, Leon, Marion and Sumter counties. Members can also enjoy free Publix Presto! or CO-OP Shared Branches and ATMs.

By CAMPUS USA at 16 Nov 2021, 17:00 PM

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