ATM Safety Tips

ATM Security tipsGiven to the recent introduction of a cashless society into the Nigeria Economy, the use of ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) is definitely on the rise – as more stores, hotel petrol station now use POS machines to accept payment from their customers. Banks are now deploying more ATM machines, we are are now developing more websites for our customers and also our own international eshop – all using ATM to and been are of great convenience, but they can compromise your safety. A robber looking for easy prey only has to stake out an ATM in a low-traffic, dimly lit area and bide his time.

There is no central repository for statistics on ATM crime, but reports of ATM robberies are frequent – where people are attacked when leaving the ATM (especially at night). ATM machines at banks are probably the safest bet, but that doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of the ones at malls, airports and sports venues. You can avoid becoming a victim by using some good old common sense and by planning ahead for ATM withdrawals. The following hints and tips explains how you can minimize/prevent been a victim.

To get extensive safety tips about ATM security tips, cashless society, online order, merchant online store security tips among others, get a copy of the upcoming book by Abdulazeez Idiaro: Safeguarding yourself and business from fraud in a cashless society, you can pre-register for launch date newsletter at:

  •  Tell any suspicious person in a loud, firm voice to back-off.
  • Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted, high traffic location that is free of decorative partitions or dividers.
  • Use ATMs at inside busy supermarkets when possible
  • Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to a police, a crowded, well-lighted location or business.
  • Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  • Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN; never write it on the back of your card.
  • If lights around the ATM are not working, don’t use that machine
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant.
  • Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place.
  • Avoid bank ATM machines adjacent to obvious hiding places
  • When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
  • Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in your car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
  • Closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any suspicious transaction to your bank.
  • If you are involved in a confrontation with an armed robber who demands your money, if you can’t get help around when you shout for help – please COMPLY – by giving up the cash.
  • Don’t fight with or attempt to follow the robber
  • Beware of any foreign object/device attached to the ATM machine that makes it look unusual.
  • Dip your card into the card reader and remove it. Do not leave the card in the slot.
  • Do not let anyone see your PIN when you are keying it in. Ensure no one is looking over your shoulder.
  • Never disclose your PIN or lend your ATM card to anyone.
  • When you approach an ATM, scan the area first for loiterers
  • Walk, run, or drive away immediately if your instincts tell you so
  • Drive or walk to a safe place and immediately call the police

Other General Tips

  • Ensure that you sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.
  • Protect your cards as if they were cash. Do not leave them unattended anywhere. Keep your cards in a secure place and never leave them or personal identity documents lying around at home, at work, in a vehicle or in public places.
  • If at all possible, do not let your bag or wallet out of your sight in public places.
  • Be alert to what is happening with your card when performing a transaction. For example, do not let a restaurant waiter take your card away to settle the account. Watch your card when you hand it to a cashier. Pay attention as the cashier processes your card – make sure they do not swipe it through two different devices: if that happens, contact your bank immediately.
  • Make a list of your card account numbers and telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards. Keep the list in a safe place. Check your cards periodically to make sure none are missing.
  • Never give your credit card number over the phone or internet, unless you are dealing with a reputable company, you have initiated the call yourself, or you are 100% certain of the caller’s identity and that of the company they represent.
  • Read and understand the Terms & Conditions for card usage issued by your financial institution(s). Contact customer services if you are unclear about any of the terms.


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