ATM & Retail Store Protection
ATM transactions are quick and easy, but you shouldn't put your common sense aside as you go about your ATM business or make a purchase in a retail store.
Reduce your risk at ATMs
Using your Visa ATM card is a convenient and safe way to get cash. Make sure you do it the smart way:
- Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut. If the ATM is poorly lit or in a concealed location, or if you're just not feeling comfortable, use another machine. Avoid counting cash or rummaging through personal items while standing at the ATM.
- Guard your PIN. Memorize it and never write it down. Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN, and if you notice suspicious activity, cancel your transaction. You should also take your receipt with you, as it may contain personal information that could be helpful to identity thieves.
- When using a drive-through ATM, lock car doors and roll up other windows. If you walk up to the ATM, don't leave your car running or unlocked. And never leave ATM or other credit cards in your car's glove compartment.
- When using an indoor ATM that requires your card for access, avoid letting unknown people in with you.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately, and sign your new or replacement card as soon as you receive it.
What to watch for at retail stores
No matter how many times you've visited the same mall, you should still be careful when shopping at retail locations, so keep these tips in mind the next time you're at the point of purchase.
- Do business with companies whose reputation and integrity are already familiar to you. If you feel pressured into acting before you're ready to buy, trust your common sense and take your time.
- Find out the store's return and exchange policy before you hand over your Visa card. If you have questions that the sales staff can't answer, consider holding off until you have all the information you need to make an informed purchase.
- Review receipts before you sign them, save customer copies, and check these against your account statements. Notify your card-issuer of any errors or suspicious charges.
- If you discover that you've bought damaged merchandise, contact the company immediately.
Get more tips on how to protect your financial information at the Better Business Bureau.