User guide to ATM safety

SANDTON – Remain vigilant! SAPS shares tips on how to withdraw cash safely from an ATM.

The police have encouraged people to remain alert and conscious of their surroundings when utilising an ATM.

According to the South African Police Service, criminals have devised several scams to steal money from users which include card skimming, shoulder surfing, card swapping, and trapping cards.

The police have provided safety tips for ATM users:

  1. Never give your card or PIN (personal identification number) to anyone, for any reason.
  2. Don’t write your PIN on the card or anything that is kept with the card.
  3. Do not insert your card until asked to do so by the display screen.
  4. Never use an ATM with a blank screen and, if the ATM is obscured from view or poorly lit, leave immediately and find another ATM.
  5. Stand close to the ATM and use your body and hand as a shield to make sure nobody sees you keying in your pin.
  6. Also, make sure you keep your hand over the card slot to make sure nobody can swap or take your card.
  7. Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM. You should be wary of strangers asking for help.
  8. Criminals work in teams – one to distract you while the other steals your card or money.
  9. If your card is retained (swallowed) by the ATM it is advisable to phone your bank toll-free stop card line immediately and stop your card.
  10. Never allow a bystander to call the toll-free stop card line on your behalf – they could be tricking you into thinking your card has been stopped.
  11. Guards are placed at ATMs to discourage criminal activities and therefore cannot help you with transactions.
  12. If you need help, ask a bank official.
  13. It is advisable to set a daily ATM withdrawal limit at your branch.

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