We are now living in a world that almost everything is digital. There are online payments, Bitcoins, online cash, and many more. But there are times that people still need paper money or cash, and the easiest way to get it is usually from an Automated Teller Machine. These devices are located almost everywhere – at convenience stores, street corners, schools, universities, churches, malls, and bank branches.
But it is almost very easy to get money, and people usually forget that there are a lot of risks involved when using an Automated Teller Machine. These risks are usually small, and most individuals can avoid these problems using common sense, but it is very helpful to have a list in their mind to stay safe. The main things entrepreneurs need to be aware of:
Their personal safety – individuals will try to steal cash, which can also involve personal injury.
Identity theft – individuals will try to get their bank information that they can use to get money. Although users might not be liable for their losses, it is possible to lose a lot of money – cleaning up after identity theft is very time-consuming.
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People can avoid most ATM problems by using a machine located in a safe location. Machines located inside bank branches are technically the safest to use. The bank is properly locked at night, the area is under 24-hour Close-Circuit Television surveillance, and their guards are always present during business hours.
Because of this, there is a small chance that thieves can tamper with the ATM or loiter around the machine. Fraudulent individuals do not want to appear in CCTV footage, and there is a small chance that thieves can physically access the device. On the other hand, devices located on the street are considered the most dangerous ones.
Use devices located in safe and well-lit places
Well-lit places with enough traffic are a good place to use the machine. These conditions make it a lot harder for thieves to commit crimes, and there will always be individuals nearby if the user needs help. Even booths where people need t to swipe their card to enter are much better compared to using devices exposed to the street. Individuals can secure their money or card in their wallet or purse before going out of them both, and it is harder for anyone to get inside while people are withdrawing money.
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Using an Automated Teller Machine that you are familiar with
As much as possible, plan ahead of time and get money from ATMs in familiar locations. There is a big chance that you will notice something wrong, and you will also reduce the overall number of devices that you use (minimizing the chances of using a fraudulent device).
Tips for safely using ATMs
Who are around the area?
As you approach the machine, make sure to pay attention to the surroundings—the people in the area and what they are doing. Thieves may be just nearby to watch individuals enter their Personal Identification Number, or they might want to see how much money they get (or whether it is worth to rob the person or not).
Be cautious of individuals who offer to help you use a malfunctioning device. There is a big chance that they are helping themselves to take your cash. If you feel a little uncomfortable about people in the area, go to another location, and use a different device.
Look around before using the ATM
Look around before inserting the card into the device. Look for damage or equipment that might indicate that the device has been tampered with. Fraudulent individuals can install hidden cams, keypad readers, or card-readers on Automated Teller Machines, and usually, they are pretty challenging to see. Make sure to give the equipment a bump or a little jiggle to see if it can be moved, but do not damage it. Again, if you are doubtful, find another ATM.
Have the card ready
If withdrawing money, it is best to do it fast and in-and-out transactions. People behind will appreciate the efficiency. But more importantly, people do not want to hang around in front of the machine fumbling for their card. Be prepared by holding the card before it is your turn to withdraw cash. When you look through your purse or wallet, especially if you are in a hurry, you are less aware of the surroundings, creating a lot of opportunities for thieves to take advantage.