Using your ATM/debit card safely.
A recent study shows that people become more trusting as they age. While there are a lot of positives associated with this increased trust, this can also lead to an increase in gullibility among the elders.
Recent news items show how some people are taking advantage of the trusting nature of elders. Just recently, a senior citizen in Mumbai lost Rs. 40,000/- because he trusted a person while using an ATM machine. This is by no means an isolated incident. There are quite a number of such incidents happening every month – and these are just the reported incidents.
Here are a few things to remember while using your ATM/Debit card. We hope you will follow these suggestions and remain safe.
1. Do not give your ATM/Debit card to anyone else.
2. Do not give your ATM/Debit card PIN to anyone else.
If you think nobody does that, you are sadly mistaken. We see countless people who go to a shop, give their debit card and then loudly read out the PIN for the cashier to enter it into the credit card machine. What’s more, we even know an elderly lady who has given her card and PIN number to the neighborhood Kirana store owner so that along with provisions he can bring her some cash also, from time to time!
3. Do not write down your PIN anywhere that is easily accessible by others.
Since you are able to choose your 4-digit PIN, use a number that you are unlikely to forget. Typically, many memories from our childhood do not fade away. Use some of that to generate your PIN. That way, you will always remember it and it will be very difficult for others to guess it.
Some options you could use are:
A. The first 4 digits of your first phone number.
B. The school/college ID number
C. A part of your first-born’s birth date, or your grand-child’s birth date.
D. A part of your wedding date.
E. A part of your spouse’s birth date.
4. Where you have a choice, use an ATM that is within a bank. There is always better security inside a bank.
5. Do not let anyone near you when you are using the ATM. If somebody is crowding you, leave and come back later.
6. Stand close to the ATM machine while punching in the PIN so that no one can peer over your shoulders and note your PIN.
7. Remember to take your card out of the machine as soon as you are done. Press the cancel button once after you have finished your work and ensure that the screen comes back to its original state.
8. If a receipt is getting printed, make sure you take it. You can tear it a few times and discard it in a bin far away from the ATM.
9. If you are withdrawing cash, please count and ensure that you have got the right amount and then put the money safely into your pocket or purse before leaving the ATM.
10. Finally, if you lose your card or fear that someone has found out your PIN contact the bank immediately and report your card lost.