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Safety tips for using the ATM

Safety and security tips for using the ATM to keep your cards and cash safe.

With identity theft rife in South Africa and costing South Africa more than R1-billion every year, protecting one’s identity and finances is crucial. Here are a few security tips for protecting debit and credit card privacy, particularly at ATM’s. Here are some tips for the safe use of ATMs, according to VISA:

Your card and PIN:

· Protect your ATM card from damage by keeping it in a safe place

· Don’t allow it to bend or be scratched.

· Memorise your personal identification number (PIN). If you must write down your PIN, do not keep it in your wallet, purse, or on the card itself.

· When selecting a PIN, avoid numbers and letters that can be easily identified or associated with you. Do not use your initials, birth date, or telephone number.

· In case you lose your card – be sure to know the emergency phone numbers for your financial institution.

· Do not volunteer any personal information when you use your credit card, other than your ID document, which may be requested.

· Know who has access to your cards. If your credit card is borrowed by a family member (spouse, child, parent), with or without your knowledge, you may be responsible for their purchases and cash withdrawals.

When using an ATM:

· Look around and observe your surroundings – if the machine is poorly lit, or is in a hidden area, use another ATM.

· Have your card ready – avoid having to go through your wallet or purse to find your card.

· Make sure that anyone waiting to use the ATM after you cannot see you entering your PIN or transaction amount

· Don’t count your cash while standing at the ATM – put your cash, card, and receipt away immediately.

· Cancel your transaction and leave immediately if you see anything suspicious. Confirm, as soon as possible, with your financial institution that the transaction was cancelled. If you are using an indoor ATM that requires your card to open the door, avoid letting anyone come in with you that you do not know.

· Lock the car doors and roll up the other windows when you use a drive-through ATM.

· Do not leave your keys or valuables in the car when using an ATM – and do not leave your car engine running.

· Do not leave your receipt behind – take it with you. Compare your ATM receipts with your monthly statement. It is the best way to guard against unauthorized use of your card, and it makes record keeping easier for you.

If you’ve lost your Visa card or your ATM card, contact the financial institution that issued your card immediately.

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