How to Safely Withdraw Money from an ATM

How to Safely Withdraw Money from an ATM

The ATM concept has to be the most important financial innovations of the last few decades in the banking industry. It is easy to get caught up in it all and fail to acknowledge what a great piece of technology it really is. For some, they don’t know it any other way. But meh, this is modern man we’re talking about. Anyway, an ATM can be a saver whenever you need some fast cash. I

t is safe to assume you know how to withdraw money from an ATM so we’ll abstain from giving you a step-by-step how-to. Instead, we’d like to shift your attention to one oft-forgotten issue: your security when making ATM withdrawals. You see, helpful as they may be, automated teller machines are a magnetic for fraudsters looking to make a quick buck off users like you. And fraudsters don’t necessarily have to be mean-looking, gun-brandishing criminals – that’s so ‘90s! But still, you can’t rule it out in toto.

ATM crimes have been on the rise last couple of years, and tech is mostly to blame as criminals leverage it to skim user PIN and card data. But there are simple measures you can take to avoid falling prey to these criminals.

Watch Out for Skimming Devices


Card skimming is a practice that has been around for decades. Banks haven’t yet arrested it because technology keeps evolving and criminals are moving with the times. Skimming involves copying information from your debit or credit card – aided by the magnetic strip – by inserting a device on a card reader slot. ATMs have been known to be subject to tampering so it pays to have a quick look at the card reader before you insert your card. The new EMV cards embedded with a microchip are designed with this form of counterfeiting in mind, but you never know. Better safe than sorry.

Use Familiar Machines


Avoid machines in secluded areas like gas stations and other remote spots which are not monitored by security cameras. As well, avoid ATMs at restaurants, retail stores, kiosks and convenience stores which have all had incidences of fraud in the past. You also need to limit your ATM visits because the more frequent, the higher the risk.

Check your Bank Balances Frequently


Cases of fraud need to be reported within 60 days following which you will have unlimited liability. It thus pays to check your account balance frequently, maybe do checkbook balancing each month. Monitoring your account activity helps in spotting any suspicious doings.

Cover Your Password


Sounds ancient, but the simple act of shielding the keypad with your hand or body as you enter your password can go some way in protecting your security while using the ATM. Hidden cameras are often disguised in a way that they are able to pick up passwords.

These practices may sound basic, but sticking to them means you are doing everything within your means to protect yourself and your hard-earned money when making ATM withdrawals. In the event you suspect foul play in one of your statements, get in touch with your institution ASAP.

Related articles