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Bladenboro Chief Hunt gives 10 safety tips when using your ATM card

By: Charlotte Smith

Earlier this year, ATM Skimmers were found on a few ATM machines in Bladen County. Recently, more ATM Skimmers have been found in New Hanover County according to Chief Chris Hunt with the Bladenboro Police Department.

Chief Hunt said he wants to remind folks to be aware of their surroundings during this holiday season and remember these 10 important tips when using an ATM card.

  1. Look! When you use an ATM machine look around the machine. Scammers who glue skimmers onto an ATM will also place a hidden camera pointed at the ATM’s keyboard, or PIN pad, to record bank customers entering their PINs.
  2. Cover! When typing in your ATM pin number, cover the key pad with your opposite hand. It doesn’t matter if you are at the ATM machine or if you are in a store. “These scammers do this for a living,” Hunt said. “They are good at watching for your code.”
  3. Watch out for plastic covers. Some ATM machines may have a flexible piece of circuit-embedded plastic that fits perfectly over the ATM’s genuine PIN pad.
  4. Jiggle the card reader at the ATM machine. If the reader is loose or moves, contact the bank and don’t use the machine.
  5. Be selective about using your card. Try not to use your debt card online. Try to use ATM machines in well lit, high traffic locations.
  6. Don’t use your pin. Use your debt card as a credit card and sign for purchases.
  7. Don’t Save! Don’t save your credit card and passwords on your computer for automatic use.
  8. Sign up. Your bank should offer alerts for low account balances. Sign up for these offers.
  9. Track your bank balances daily. If you see something suspicious contact your bank immediately.
  10. Tell! If you see something, say something. If you notice someone tampering with an ATM machine, report them. If you notice transactions on your bank statement you did not make, contact your bank and law enforcement to file a report. If your identity was stolen, most the times the bank will refund your money according to Hunt.
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