Sunday, December 23, 2007

(BPRW) -- Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are one of the most convenient tools developed today, especially when you want cash in a flash and don’t have the time to stand in a long line. ATMs not only allow you to access your bank account in order to make cash withdrawals, but they also enable you to check your account balance.

Many ATMs also enable you to deposit cash or checks, transfer money between bank accounts, pay bills, or purchase products or services. But ATMs may not be automatically safe. As with everything in this day and age, you must use caution when using the ATM in an effort to protect your identity.

Listed below are a few tips from Washington Mutual on how to be safe at the ATM:

• Be aware of your surroundings. Quickly decide to use another location if you notice something suspicious, and report unusual occurrences to your bank and the police.

• Be prepared before you approach the ATM. Don’t wait until you get to the ATM to look for your card. Have it ready in advance and make sure you know your PIN.

• Keep your PIN from prying eyes. When entering your PIN number, try to shield the keypad to protect against those that may be looking over your shoulders.

• Immediately put your money away. Take the time to count it later.

• Keep your receipts. This will make it easier for you to verify your transaction information.

• If at all possible, avoid using ATMs at night.

Whether you use an ATM at a bank, shopping center/mall, airport, grocery store, gas station or restaurant, please remember to play it safe. Being as careful as you can should become an automatic habit!


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