Playing it safe at the ATM - Security Tips for ATM Safety
A troubling trend of ATM “skimming” fraud has found its way into the Bay area. ATM “skimming” involves a device that steal the numbers off debit and credit cards and record personal identification numbers as they are tapped into the keypad.
Suncoast would like to remind you of these tips for ATM safety:
- Be cautious of ATMs you choose to use. Your safest bet is to use secure ATMs inside a financial institution lobby, inside a store or those with security cameras. Offenders can install the scanners quickly, but likely won't go inside a place of business to do it. All Suncoast Schools FCU ATMs are protected by security cameras.
- Cover the keypad with your free hand when you punch in your PIN. This obstructs the view of any hidden cameras that may be present.
- Skimming devices may protrude from the face of the ATM. If something looks suspicious or if the keypad jiggles or the card slot is not quite level, leave and use another ATM and call the bank to report it.
- If the machine keeps your card, call the bank immediately.
- Don't accept help from anyone hanging around the ATM. They may be there to try to observe your PIN.
For more information please call the Members Contact Center at 1-800-999-5887.
- Memorize Your PIN: Don't write it down on your card, or on a piece of paper you store in your wallet. If your card or wallet were stolen, the thief would have your PIN.
- Be Ready for Your Transaction: have your card ready, have your code in your head, and fill out any deposit envelopes before you approach the ATM. Take some envelopes with you and complete them at home or in your locked car at your next transactions.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Don't select an ATM at the corner of a building -- corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
- Maintain Awareness of Your Surroundings Throughout the Entire Transaction: Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business.
- Protect Your Code: When using the ATM, block other people's view; do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN, what type of transaction you are making, or how much money you are withdrawing. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats your card -- contact a bank official.
- Lines in the Area: If there is a line behind you in the ATM and someone is too close to you, ask them to step back. If they do not step back, you may want to cancel your transaction and either wait in your car, or use the ATM at another time.
- Quickly Put Away Your Money: Put your money in your wallet and put your wallet away immediately. Count your money when you are safely inside your car or home. Before you leave the ATM, check your surroundings - is anyone around? Also put away your card and receipt.
- Avoid Large Cash Withdrawals: If you were robbed or lost your wallet, at least you would only lose a smaller amount of cash.
- Leave your valuables: Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant.
- Take All of Your Receipts With You: Don't let a potential thief know how much money you have withdrawn or how much you have in the bank.
- If You are Driving: Park as close as you can to the ATM, and lock your doors. Keep your keys handy so you can enter your car quickly after completing your transaction.
- Drive-Up ATMs: When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line. Keep all windows up except the one you are using. Assess the surroundings of the ATM - are people 'hanging around' on foot or in vehicles? If it feels unsafe to you, choose another ATM.
- Bring a Friend: A thief is less likely to attempt to rob you if you have someone with you.
- Check Your Account Report: Notify Suncoast if you notice any suspicious or unauthorized ATM transactions on your monthly statement.
- If Your Card is Stolen: Immediately contact Suncoast. Thieves typically have about a four to eight hour window they can use stolen ATM and credit cards since owners don't report them stolen right away. You may not be liable for any items debited from your account if you report it right away
DEBIT/CheckCard/ATM - call 1-800-999-5887 option 1 DEBIT/CheckCard/ATM after hours - call 1-800-754-4128
Information Source: The Electronic Funds Transfer Association, the Los Angeles Police Department, & Mount Holyoke College.