Cash machine crime prevention advice

Using a cash machine is an extremely safe and convenient way of withdrawing cash, but they can sometimes be the focus of criminal activity.

The Metropolitan Police have provided us with some simple tips to reduce your chances of being a victim of fraud.

Choosing a cash machine

Many banks and building societies will have cash machines inside their branches, as well as out on the street. Cash machines may also be available in places such as shopping centres, bus or train stations, or local stores. Do not use a cash machine unless you feel comfortable with your surroundings. Before beginning your transaction check that you are happy with the machine itself. Make sure you can feel whether the slot from which your cash will be dispensed is free of any obvious obstruction. If you are unsure in any way remember that a machine inside a bank branch or retail outlet is far less likely to have been tampered with than a cash machine facing the street.

Using a cash machine

  • If possible shield your PIN carefully from possible hidden cameras or prying eyes. Criminals sometimes fit cameras above or around the keypad.
  • If using a talking cash machine only use one earpiece from your headphones to gain greater awareness of your surroundings during the transaction.
  • Do not get distracted during the transaction, particularly by 'well meaning' strangers.
  • If your card is not returned to you or the wrong amount of cash - or even no cash - is dispensed, report the matter immediately to your bank or building society. Store the machine's card enquiries telephone number in your mobile phone and, if you are able, call them while you are still at the machine. If this is not possible do call them at the very first opportunity.
  • Never reveal your PIN to anyone.

While still in front of the cash machine

On completing a transaction, discreetly put your money and card away before leaving. Never leave the machine carrying cash loose in your hand.

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