Facebook Rss Twitter Youtube MSN

Be aware of ATM risks

Dec 12, 2011 | | Comments Comments Off

Dear Liz: Please warn people to be careful when they use ATMs. Some jerk posted an out-of-order sign on the outside ATM at my bank to get people to use the inside ATM, which had a skimmer installed on it. The crooks managed to get $500 out of my account, but the bank was on the ball and called me. I denied the transaction and the bank returned the money to my account.

People need to be aware of anything funny-looking about the ATM or the door lock. If there’s a piece of plastic sticking above or below the door lock, don’t use it. Personally, I don’t use the ATM anymore. I go inside to a teller to get cash.

Answer: People can be remarkably trusting when it comes to using ATMs. Stand-alone ATMs may be phonies, designed just to take your bank card information and PINs. Even ATMs attached to banks can be compromised, as your experience shows.

Some security experts advise avoiding stand-alone ATMs, and all advise being cautious about using any cash-dispensing machine. Before sticking your card into one, you should grab the slot where your card goes in and see if you can move it. If you can, don’t use the machine. If you enter your card and PIN into an ATM and get any kind of error message, alert your bank immediately, as that can be a sign of a compromised machine.

You don’t have to avoid using ATMs, but they should be used with caution.

Related Posts

  • Why you shouldn’t use your debit card at a gas pump
    Conversations with security experts often leave me paranoid, and my recent chat with Gartner’s Avivah Litan was no exception. We were talking about h...
  • Debit cards can be riskier than credit cards
    Dear Liz: I'm in my early 30s and never carry cash. I charge everything on my debit card. This seems to be a topic of discussion in my office. My co-...
  • Not to make you paranoid, but…
    It's bad enough that tens of millions of Americans' financial and personal data got hacked in recent database breaches (Target, Michaels and Neiman M...
  • More alerts than ever
    More alerts than ever   A little factoid I had to share: More than one third of us (37%) have received some kind of financial alert on our bank ...

Categories : Banking, Q&A