Being alert and aware goes a long way in keeping you and your money safe when using an ATM.
Never take ATM security for granted. Here are some helpful tips to adopt when visiting an ATM:
- Be mindful of your surroundings and trust your intuition. If you see or sense something suspicious, do not use the ATM.
- Don't use a card reader if you notice anything unusual – it might have been tampered with (see What is ATM Skimming? section below).
- If you are using a drive-up ATM, roll up the passenger windows and lock your car doors. Look around: If you notice anything unusual in the area, don't use the ATM.
- Be prepared: Take your ATM card out of your wallet or purse before approaching the machine.
- Remain alert and aware at all times. Avoid using your cell phone or being distracted when using an ATM.
- After receiving your cash, put it in your wallet or purse immediately. Count it later at a secure location.
- Protect your information. Block the top and side views of the keypad when entering your PIN and always take your receipts with you. Never write your PIN on your ATM card.
- If you have to use an ATM at night, use extra caution. If arriving in a car, park nearby in a well-lit area and lock your car doors. Bring a companion with you, if possible.
How To Report ATM Issues, Including a Lost or Stolen Card
If the ATM doesn't return your debit or credit card after you end or cancel a transaction, notify BECU immediately.
- Call 800-233-2328 during regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. PST, Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. PST.
- BECU debit card after hours: 888-241-2510 or 909-941-1398 (collect outside U.S.).
- BECU credit card after hours: 866-820-2999.
What Is ATM Skimming?
Skimming is an illegal activity that involves the installation of a scanning device – usually undetectable by ATM users – over the card slot or keypad to secretly record bank account data. When unsuspecting users insert their ATM card into the compromised machine, criminals gain access the users' data to create fake debit or credit cards and steal from the victims' bank accounts.
How To Check For Skimmers
The equipment used to skim data looks very similar to normal ATM equipment in color and texture, so it can be easy to miss unless you're looking for it.
Before using any ATM, inspect the area around you, as well as the machine itself. Look for anything on the machine that's loose, crooked, damaged or scratched. Wiggle the card slot and keypad for any loose-fitting attachments. These are common signs that scammers have attempted to modify an ATM.
What To Do if You Discover a Skimming Device
- Call the police and notify BECU immediately.
- Closely monitor your account for any unusual activity.
- Check your credit report regularly.