Getting Cash at the ATM? Important Safety Tips
Criminals are finding more dangerous ways to steal cash and unfortunately, our local communities have seen an increase of incidents take place at ATMs.
ATM vandalism is also prevalent, but more harmful to personal safety is armed robberies and suspects casing ATM users and approaching and/or following them, and then committing assault to get the cash they just withdrew.
One of the many benefits of membership at Sound Credit Union is access to over 30,000+ surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. It’s a big perk, but Sound always takes member safety and security seriously whether we’re protecting your finances online, at a branch, or in person.
If you need to get cash from an ATM, please practice these safety tips to keep you and your money protected and in the right hands.
Before You Visit An ATM
- MOBILE APP: Use the Mobile App to check your balance or transfer funds from savings. This will decrease the amount of time you need to stand at the ATM.
- LIGHTS & CAMERAS Select an ATM that is in a well-lit location and has multiple cameras. If the lights around the ATM are not working properly, choose another, preferably inside a bank or grocery store.
- DON’T GO ALONE Consider taking a companion along, park close to the ATM in a well-lit area and lock your car.
- HAVE YOUR CARD READY Have your ATM card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM. Don’t wait to get to the ATM, and then take your card out of your wallet or purse.
- NEVER LEND YOUR CARD Never let anyone borrow your ATM card. Treat it as if it were cash or a credit card.
At the ATM
- ASSESS THE SITUATION Always watch for suspicious persons or activity around an ATM. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car in close proximity, or at-a-distance from the ATM location.
- LOOK FOR SKIMMING DEVICES Visually inspect the ATM for possible skimming devices. Potential indicators can include sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive used by criminals to affix the device, scratches, damaged or crooked pieces, loose or extra attachments on the card slot, or noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad.
- LEAVE & RETURN LATER If you notice anything strange, leave and return some other time. Even if you have already started a transaction, cancel it and leave.
- STAY ALERT Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction.
- SECURE CASH IMMEDIATELY If you get cash – put it away immediately. Do not stand at the ATM and count it.
- DECLINE HELP FROM STRANGERS Never accept offers of assistance with the ATM from strangers; ask the bank for help.
- TAKE YOUR RECEIPT To keep your account information confidential, always take your receipts or transaction records with you.
If something happens
We certainly hope it never comes to this, but put your personal safety first.
- If you are involved in a confrontation and the attacker is armed with a weapon and demands your money or valuables, GIVE IT TO THE SUSPECT.
- Call 911 and be prepared to share a description of the suspect to help identity them (unique features, clothing, vehicle).
If your Sound card is stolen or compromised, read the following articles for next best steps:
- Your Sound card is lost, stolen, compromised or skimmed »
- Seven Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself from Skimming »