A member of our local law enforcement community recently visited an ATM at First Tech Credit Union on W. 11th on January 30, around 6 p.m., to conduct personal banking and found a generic card left in the ATM machine. It is very possible someone left it there hoping another individual would come along to use the ATM and mistakenly take the generic card and leave their real card. He reported this to the bank and did not lose any money, but also reported this as a suspicious incident to police so that we could provide some general information to prevent people avoid ATM scams.
- Choose your ATM carefully. Some ATM’s are better than others. For example, an ATM machine inside your bank would be less vulnerable to tampering. Try to use the same ATM each time you need cash so that you are familiar with what it looks like and can quickly spot changes.
- Inspect the ATM before you use it. Before you swipe or insert your card, do a quick cursory look for a loose keypad or signs of tampering. If something looks suspicious, don’t use it and report it to the bank.
- Keep an eye on your surroundings. If someone else is hanging around, wait for them to leave first. Maintain your personal space and always pay attention to your surroundings. You can always come back later or choose another location if you are uncomfortable.
- Cover your PIN. Cover the keypad when you enter your pin so that a person can’t “shoulder surf” and memorize it.
- Call your bank immediately if you have any trouble at an ATM. Don’t leave the ATM while you call, you don’t want the thief to take your card or cash.
- Pay attention to your bank balance and report any discrepancy to your financial institution right away.