Safety at an ATM is always a concern, but even more so during the festive season when people tend to be more relaxed than usual. We work extremely hard for our money. The last thing that you want to happen to you is for a criminal to snatch your hard-earned salary.
Here are some safety tips if you are forced to use an ATM:
• Be alert and conscious of your surroundings when using the ATM.
• Never use an ATM alone at night. Always take a friend with you.
• If possible, use the cash withdrawal facility available at many shopping pay points such as Checkers and Pick n Pay.
• Never give your card or pin number to anyone, for any reason.
• Don't write your pin on the card or anything that is kept with the card.
• Do not insert your card until asked to do so by the display screen.
• Never use an ATM with a blank screen and, if the ATM is obscured from view or poorly lit, leave immediately and find another machine.
• Stand close to the ATM and use your body and hand as a shield, to make sure nobody sees you keying in your pin.
• Keep your hand over the card slot, to make sure nobody can swap or take your card.
• Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM. You should be wary of strangers asking for help.
• Criminals work in teams — one to distract you, while the other steals your card or money.
• If your card is retained (swallowed) by the ATM, it is advisable to phone your bank immediately and stop your card.
• Never allow a bystander to call the bank on your behalf — they could be tricking you into thinking your card has been stopped.
• Guards are placed at ATMs to discourage criminals activities and cannot help you with transactions.
• If you need help, ask a bank official.
• It is advisable to set a daily ATM withdrawal limit at your branch.
• If you suspect you are being followed from the bank, drive to the nearest police station.
It is always better to be safe than sorry.