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ATM Safety Tips

Automatic teller machines (ATMs) have revolutionized the personal banking industry, providing unprecedented ease and convenience. But they have also created new opportunities for thieves and robbers. Here are some tips to keep you and your money secure while banking at ATMs.

  • Make sure you have memorized your personal identification number (PIN). Never write it down on your ATM card or keep it with the card. Never tell anyone your code or let them enter your code for you.
  • Do not give out information about your PIN over the telephone—banks will never request such information.
  • Try to use machines you are familiar with, and use terminals located in banks rather than independent terminals.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Look around before conducting a transaction. If you see anyone or anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and go to another ATM.
  • If you must use an ATM after hours, make sure it's well lighted.
  • Use your body as a shield when making a transaction at the ATM.
  • Never walk away from an ATM with cash still in hand. If you are going to count your money, do so at the ATM. Then take the time to put your money away before leaving.
  • When making an ATM transaction from your car, be aware of your surroundings. Keep your eyes and ears open, and keep car doors locked.
  • Report any lost or stolen cards as soon as you discover they're missing.
  • Check your receipts against your monthly statements to guard against ATM fraud.
  • Tear up your ATM receipts when you no longer need them.
  • According to DC Law, panhandling within 10 feet of any ATM is illegal. If you witness this, please call the MPDC's non-emergency number, 311