ATM Security: 6 ATM Safety Tips For Safe Transactions

Banks and ATM operators have been busy installing new contactless machines since the pandemic. This is aimed at reducing the risk of infection for consumers. However, the risk of fraud still exists with card skimmers and spy cameras being used regularly, it’s in your best interests to take preventive measures to safeguard yourself while using an ATM. 

Follow these tips to ensure a smooth and safe experience. 

Stay alert

A very basic requirement while accessing an ATM is to stay alert at all times. Check for any suspicious activity or person in and around the ATM. Make sure you are not being followed and that nobody is spying on you. Check for a CCTV; try to use an ATM that has one – or at least one that has a security guard outside. Count your money inside the ATM or only when you reach a safe place. It is not advisable to handle cash in an open public area. 

Keep your PIN a secret

Your PIN is the most valuable security measure when you access your account through an ATM, so make sure you keep it a secret. Always block the view of the ATM keypad with your hand while entering the PIN. Never disclose your PIN to anyone, unless you trust them explicitly. Remember, banks will never ask for your PIN, so do not be lured by anyone who asks for it. Also, avoid writing it down anywhere; commit it to memory.

Choose the right location

Using a secured ATM is essential for your safety. Always use an ATM that is on a busy street or in a secure building. Avoid using an ATM after midnight or one that’s in a deserted place. Even if you are using the ATM at night, ensure it is not in a dark corner. Do not use an ATM if you feel the surroundings are unsafe or notice any suspicious persons lurking around.

Don’t ask strangers for help

You may wish to seek help from strangers if you happen to get stuck while using an ATM. While this may be okay in an emergency, never disclose your PIN or get them to transact on your behalf. Do not count your cash in front of others. Asking for help should be a last resort; ideally try to avoid using that machine and look for another. 

Ask your bank for assistance

Go to your bank for help if you face any issues while using their ATM. In some instances money may get debited from your account, but you may not receive it. Or you might not be able to access your account at all. Or your card may get pulled into the machine. In such situations, dial your bank’s toll-free assistance number immediately. This toll-free number can be easily found online or on bank’s official website. They will suggest a way out. Also use this feature if you ever lose your card, or if it gets stolen.

Check the ATM carefully

There have been instances where fraudsters have rigged inconspicuous electronic devices called ‘skimmers’ that can record anything you input. So, inspect the machine carefully – especially the keypad and card slot – before you enter your PIN. Sometimes these devices may even withhold your cash. In such cases, visit your bank branch or call the toll-free number for assistance. As an added precaution, do not throw away ATM receipts carelessly, as the information in them could be used against you. 


The proliferation of ATMs has made cash withdrawal very easy. At the same time, this has added various hazards to user safety. While these machines are very convenient, a little caution on your part will make your transactions safer. Just like ATM, transactions through NetBanking is also convenient, it is essential that you take the necessary measures to stay safe while banking online.

Looking to apply for an ATM Card? Log into your HDFC Bank Account to get started!

​​​​​​​New customers can get a new Debit Card through opening a new Savings Account while experiencing hassle-free banking with HDFC Bank. Existing HDFC Bank customers can get their Debit Card reissued within minutes

Click here to read more on what to do when your ATM transaction failed but amounted is debited.

* The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.