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ATMs and EFTPOS terminals are generally very safe however they do sometimes attract criminal attention. Below are some common sense precautions when using your card at an ATM or EFTPOS terminal.
Protect Your PIN. Always be careful to shield your PIN when using an ATM terminal. Use your free hand to cover the keypad while you enter your PIN.
Avoid ATMs that appear to have been tampered with. Watch out for tell-tale signs of ATM tampering. These may include unusual marks, scratches or adhesive tape around the card entry slot or keypad. If you spot anything unusual about the ATM machine, or there are signs of tampering, do not use it. Report it to the bank concerned immediately. You should also report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Be alert and put your personal safety first. Use ATMs in well-lit areas and always be aware of your surroundings. If someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine.
Use ATMs that have in-built skimming prevention technology. When using an ATM, you may notice that your card enters and exits the card reader slowly, or jumps like it has the ‘jitters’. The shaking interrupts the scanning process reducing the chance of your details being skimmed. ATMs that also have a green plastic cover where you insert your card, make it more difficult for a skimming device to be installed.
Once you have completed your transaction, put your money and card away before leaving the machine.
Shield your PIN. Always be careful to shield your PIN when using an EFTPOS terminal. Use your free hand to cover the keypad while you enter your PIN.
Do you trust the person? Ask yourself if you trust the person or trader who you are handing your card over to. If you are in a shop and the assistant wants to swipe your card out of sight, or in a second machine, you should ask for your card back straight away and either pay with cash or cheque or not make the purchase.
Don’t let your card out of sight. When paying for goods or services at point of sale do not allow your debit or credit card out of your sight. A good example is when you are presented with your bill at a restaurant and want to pay for your meal by credit card, you should always accompany it to the counter.