ATM and Debit cards offer great convenience and flexibility whether it’s for everyday transactions or when one is travelling abroad. Maintaining the Security of your card and keeping it safe from scammers is your responsibility. Banks try and put in place various safety nets to make ATM card usage safe for the consumers but it is up to consumers to follow the guidelines. Banks also try and educate customers by sending them flyers, mails and messages on a regular basis; being a little attentive to small details can help you stay safe. Below we discuss a few security tips:
- Keep the PIN and Card Separate: This is the first and of the most important thing that you can do to keep your card safe. Keeping the PIN with the card or writing it on the card is like an invitation for getting scammed. If the wallet is lost or the card is lost or left unattended even for a small while, whoever finds the card has access to both card and PIN.
- Don’t Share your PIN with anyone: The PIN is issued to the card holder for his/her use and to provide extra security while using the ATM card. Sharing the PIN with anybody defeats the purpose. Even if you think you are sharing the PIN for a one time transaction, you are compromising the security because you cannot be sure if the person will not misuse the trust if given a chance again.
- Apply for Alerts: Applying for alerts especially mobile alerts can go a long way in protecting your account. This way the minute a transaction happens you get an alert and in case you have not made the transaction you can immediately alert the bank and get your card blocked.
- Don’t Wait to Block the Card: In case you are unable to find your card and are not sure if you have misplaced it at home or office or have lost it is better to still block it. Blocking or unblocking a card just takes a phone call and even if you find the card you can unblock it. Do not wait till you are sure as by that time the card can be misused.
- Go through your Monthly Statements: Go through the monthly statements carefully and check the transactions to ascertain if there are any transactions that have not been made by you, a transaction which you cancelled but is still there in the statement, duplicate entries etc. Though rare sometimes when withdrawing cash the cash may not be dispensed and you may enter the transactions again thinking that the previous transaction was cancelled (they are usually revered at the end of the day) but sometimes due to a glitch that may not happen. Going through the statement will ensure that in case of any such error you get in touch with bank and get it rectified.
- Do Not Let Your Card Out of Sight: While at petrol pumps or restaurants do not hand over your card to be taken elsewhere (out of your sight) to be swiped. This can result in dual transaction or cloning of cards, which happens to be a popular card scam.
- Be Vigilant While Using the ATM Machine: When using an ATM machine be careful of your surroundings, avoid using an ATM booth which is in a lonely corner, there is no security guard or the shutter seems to be drawn half especially during nights and early mornings.
- Do Not Allow Strangers to Hover When Making a Transaction: Whether using the ATM booth or using the card at a particular counter make sure strangers are not hovering over you while making the transactions or entering the PIN. Try and block the view, if that is not possible wait for them to finish their transaction before making yours.
- Use ATMs that look familiar: This is especially so when travelling abroad. Use only a machine which has the same logo as on your card to withdraw cash, if the machine or the menu looks suspicious or you are not aware of the options at all then look for another machine.
- Check the Transaction Slip: After each transaction make sure you check the transaction slip and see if what you have transacted matches with the printed record. In case of cash withdrawals count the cash carefully and then leave the counter or booth.
The most important has been left for the last. Keep the card safe; do not leave it lying around or expose it to metallic fields. Collect your card carefully after making the transaction and keep it safely in the designated place.
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