Stay safe: You are advised to be alert when using an ATM

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An ATM can be a dangerous place, with people falling victim to criminals.

Here is some advice that can keep you safe when using an ATM.

  • Be alert and conscious of your surroundings.
  • Never give your card or PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone, for any reason.
  • Don’t write your PIN on the card or anything that is kept with the card.
  • Do not insert your card until asked to do so by the display screen.
  • Never use an ATM with a blank screen and, if the ATM is obscured from view or poorly lit, leave immediately and find another ATM.
  • Stand close to the ATM and use your body and hand as shields to make sure nobody sees you keying in your PIN.
  • Also, make sure you keep your hand over the card slot to make sure nobody can swap or take your card.
  • Never accept help from strangers. You should also be wary of strangers asking for help.
  • Remember that criminals work in teams – one to distract you while the other steals your card or money.
  • If your card is retained (swallowed) by the ATM, it is advisable to phone your bank’s toll-free stop card line immediately and stop your card.
  • Never allow a bystander to call the toll-free stop card line on your behalf, as they could be tricking you into thinking your card has been stopped.
  • Guards are placed at ATMs to discourage criminal activities and therefore cannot help you with transactions.
  • If you need help, ask a bank official.
  • It is advisable to set a daily ATM withdrawal limit at your branch.

EXPLOSIONS AT ATMs

  • Explosions at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are a new crime that reared its ugly head in 2006.
    It has spiralled since then.
  • When approaching an ATM and it has been damaged, report to 10111 immediately in the following cases:
    • If an ATM has been damaged or if any unknown items protrude from it.
    • If smoke or flames are visible at or in the machine as this is a sure sign of a pending explosion. (Also move away from the ATM immediately)
    • If there is suspicious activity/persons at or near an ATM
  • Once the charges have been activated, there is nothing that can be done to deactivate the explosives.
  • Shrapnel and debris from an explosion can travel for several hundred metres.
  • People must be moved away as far as possible and take cover behind something solid, such as a building.

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  AUTHOR
Saish Motheram
Journalist

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Be alert when using an ATM, don’t become a victim

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