Saturday, June 13, 2009

ATM provider releases list of safety tips

ATM service provider PULSE has released a list of tips for protecting customers while using debit cards at ATMS and point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

PULSE's release coincides with the beginning of June, which the company has decreed to be ATM and Debit Card Safety Awareness Month, during which consumers are advised to quard against identity theft, fraud or even physical assault while using an ATM, POS terminal or their own computer.

"Debit continues to be a convenient and secure way to make purchases and informed consumers can take an active role to minimize risks associated with these transactions," the company said in a press release.

Steve Sievery, PULSE senior vice president, echoed the need for safety while using an ATM. "ATM withdrawals, cash back during point-of-sale transactions and PIN-based purchases are convenient ways to spend and access your money whenever you need it," Siever said. "However, any time you conduct a transaction, whether it's with a debit card or cash, it is always a good idea to take precautions to protect yourself."

Among PULSE's tips are that ATM users should:

  • Protect personal identification numbers (PINs) by memorizing it, and never writing it on your card, storing it with your card or letting someone else enter it.
  • Survey surroundings for any suspicious activity before withdrawing money.
  • Avoid ATMS that are obstructed from view or poorly lit.
  • Look for unusual looking card slots, damage or plastic overlays on the PIN pad, which could be a sign of tampering by criminals.
  • Report a lost or stolen card to keep it from being used and to limit their liability.
  • Take another person with you to an ATM whenever possible, especially if at night.
  • Never provide their PIN, card number or personal information in response to an e-mail.
  • Never let a stranger assist you with an ATM or count your money at the ATM.
  • Regularly check your account statements for unauthorized transactions.

PULSE also provides a list of safety advice on its Web site.