Dec 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Tips for Using Your ATM Card

Senior citizens around the world are using their ATM bank cards to make purchases for holiday gifts.  Some of us just naturally are very protective of our cards, and keep them safe at all times.  Others of us, either because we haven’t developed the habit, or because our cognitive abilities are impaired, don’t practice ATM safety and our cards as well as our identity are at risk. Here are some tips for protecting your ATM card:

  • Always prepare your deposit slips at home to minimize your time at the ATM or Night Deposit Facility;
  • Retain all ATM receipts. Never leave them in the machine area; always balance your bank account statements;
  • Don’t lend your ATM card to anyone; be sure you always take your card with you when you complete your transaction;
  • Never give out your PIN (four digit personal identification number) to anyone;
  • If your ATM card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to your banking institution;
  • Be careful to shield the keypad on the ATM machine from anyone being able to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN; cover the keypad with your other hand or purse or something that prevents a stranger from seeing you enter your PIN;
  • Don’t count your money at the ATM machine when you make a withdrawal; count it in your locked car or when you return home;
  • Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up when you use a drive-up facility; keep your car engine running;
  • Never go to an ATM machine or drive-up facility alone at night; take a friend with you or wait until the next day;
  • Never accept assistance from a stranger at an ATM machine.

Likely the best prevention you can take for ATM card safety is to scout out the most convenient and best location for you to use to make deposits and withdrawals, and always go to that location.  If you use your ATM/debit card to make purchases, be sure you always put your card back in your wallet/purse before you leave the checkout counter.  Walking away and trying to put your card back where you keep it is a time ripe for a thief to grab your card (and purchases); senior citizens are at higher risk for theft because we are generally less able to defend ourselvesTaking these precautions may keep you safer during your holiday shopping.


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