The automated teller machine (ATM) has made banking more convenient today than ever before. With the touch of a few buttons, you can withdraw cash, make deposits, and transfer funds virtually anywhere an ATM is located. With new technology and convenience, comes new potential for criminals to exploit clients. These tips are meant to make you aware that ATM crime can happen and preventing such a crime must be a cooperative effort between you and the bank.
The Bank's Role
To ensure client safety at ATMs, banks are putting ATMs in areas that are visible by passers-by, trimming landscape to prevent potential criminals from hiding, and installing or upgrading lighting that is bright enough for use at night. Some banks also have installed cameras, rear-view mirrors, panic buttons and special signs. Most banks limit the amount of cash that can be withdrawn on a daily basis.
The Client's Role
Bank clients should always use caution when using an ATM. These tips are a start, but the best advice is simply not to use an ATM if you feel at all uncomfortable doing so. ATMs provide convenience, but they have not replaced the bank teller. If you prefer, conduct your business in the bank lobby. Exercise care when using an ATM, and follow these general rules below.
Protecting Your ATM/Debit Card
- Always protect your ATM/Debit Card and keep it in a safe place, just like you would cash, credit cards or checks.
- Do not leave your ATM/Debit Card lying around the house or on your desk at work. No one should have access to the card but you. Immediately notify your bank if it is lost or stolen.
- Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret. Never write it down anywhere, especially on your ATM/debit card. Avoid using PIN numbers that are easily identifiable.
- Never give any information about your ATM/Debit Card (such as expiration date and security code) or PIN number over the phone to anyone (including the police, bank employees, etc.).
Using an ATM
- Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the machine at that time.
- Have your ATM/Debit Card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM. Don't wait to get to the ATM and then take your card out of your wallet or purse.
- Be careful that no one can see you enter your PIN at the ATM. Use your body to "shield" the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN into the ATM.
- To keep your account information confidential, always take your receipts or transaction records with you. Make sure you retain your transaction receipt. Do not throw the receipt away at the ATM site.
- Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
- If you are using a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are rolled up and all doors are locked. If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, lock your car.
- We recommend that you use an ATM during daylight hours instead of at night whenever possible.
Special Precautions for Using an ATM at Night
- Park close to the ATM in a well-lighted area.
- Take another person with you, if at all possible.
- If the lights at the ATM are not working, don't use it.
- If shrubbery has overgrown or a tree blocks the view, select another ATM and notify the bank.
- Identifying Fraudulent Transactions
- It is important to regularly check your account balance and bank statements to discover any fraudulent or inaccurate transactions. In the event of any discrepancies, contact the bank immediately.
Report Lost Cards Immediately
If you believe your Debit Card or Credit Card has been lost or stolen, please report it immediately by calling us at (850) 907-2300. If you have lost your card after business hours, please call our 24-hour Card Service Center at (800) 854-7642, press 1 (for English or 2 for Spanish) at the first prompt and then press 9.
The tips listed above are a start, but it is best to always be cautious and alert anytime you use your card. Take note of the face of the ATM. Do not use it if:
- You notice any unusual marks or "scraping".
- The card reader shifts or moves when gently wiggled.
- You feel at all uncomfortable doing so.
Please contact the bank any time you notice anything out of the ordinary at any ATM.