Just try to remember the days prior to having an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at every street corner and store in town. Today it is difficult to imagine life without instant access to the money in your bank account. From trips to the supermarket, desperate stops for gas money while running on fumes, or that quick trip at lunchtime so you can grab a fast bite to sustain you through the day, the convenience of the ATM has become a necessary part of our lives.
According to the ATM Industry Association, estimates by Retail Banking Research, Ltd. place the number of ATMs installed worldwide at over 1.2 million. The ATMIA goes on to add that ATM and Debit News estimates the total number of ATMs in the U.S. alone at 371,000 with a new ATM being installed every 5 minutes!
While the ease of access and proliferation of ATM machines over the past decade has been a welcome convenience to consumers, it also presents an added opportunity for theft and fraud. According to the U.S. Department of Justice:
Although using an ATM is essentially a safe activity, there are things you can do to increase your safety and decrease the risk of becoming a robbery victim. The American Bankers Association (ABA) offers the following tips for ATM safety:
Your PIN is the key to your security. Make your PIN something easy for you to remember, never write it down, and change it periodically to add another measure of security to your account.
The back of your ATM card should include a phone number to call if your card is lost, stolen, or its security is compromised. Write this number down and keep it somewhere that is easily accessible. If you do lose your card or suspect unauthorized activity on your card, call the number stated on the card immediately. Most likely, the contact you make will not be with your bank but will be with the card issuer. They will be able to stop further activity from occurring on the card. It is then your responsibility to contact your bank (as soon as possible on the next banking day) to report the situation. Your bank representative will then be able to instruct you on the bank’s procedure for reporting the incident, canceling the account, re-establishing a new account number, and submitting a request to recover the funds (if the loss was from fraudulent use of your account number).
So relax and enjoy the convenience of easy access to your cashthanks to your nearest ATM!
Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.
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