Cash machines (ATMs) are a very safe way to access your account and avoid the risks of having to carry large amounts of cash with you. Millions of transactions are made through the LINK system every day and the chances of becoming a victim of ATM crime are very low, but there are a number of simple steps which all cardholders can take to help fight ATM crime, in particular, by the very simple step of covering your PIN with one hand as you enter it with the other.
Video footage reveals how criminals can try to get hold of your four-digit PIN when you use an ATM that they have targeted. However, as the seized criminal footage shows, by simply shielding the keypad with your free hand, keys, wallet or purse, you can easily stop a criminal from finding out your PIN.
High-tech attacks, such as skimming and copying card details, are very rare. Most ATMs have equipment that prevents this sort of attack. Moreover, since the advent of Chip and PIN, these attacks cannot work on Chip cards unless the would-be criminal discovers your PIN. You can prevent this by the very simple step of covering your PIN with one hand as you enter it with the other, protecting yourself from the person looking over your shoulder and even from high tech attacks like covert cameras.
However, ATM crime can and does sometimes occur. LINK and the ATM industry take this very seriously and we have published guidance on cardholder security to help ATM users avoid crime.
If you have information about ATM crime, please contact Crimestoppers.