Stock image of an ATM

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How to Be Safe and Avoid ATM Attacks

By Deb Rehorst – GWB Fraud Manager

ATM attacks come in many forms: Skimming, Shimming, Cash-out Schemes, and Jackpotting, to name a few. Ultimately, they amount to criminals attempting to steal from you, and your Financial Institution. The most effective approach to protecting against these attacks is a partnership between you, and your bank. 

Great Western Bank takes several actions to protect your accounts from ATM threats. These precautions include, but are not limited to, encryption, restricted access to systems, procedures and controls over maintenance, rules and monitoring software to detect and stop suspicious activity. 

Consumers can also take precautions to aid in protecting their accounts. One of the most important is to protect your physical cards at all times. Do not share your card or PIN with anyone. GWB will never ask for your full card number or PIN so do not disclose those account details to anyone via phone, email, or text. 

Being aware of your surroundings is another powerful protection. Look closely at the ATM prior to use for any abnormalities. Take note of any odd behavior by others that may be near or using the ATM. Contact your Financial Institution and local law enforcement should you notice any peculiar behavior such as someone trying to insert a cable or device into the machine or using multiple cards at one time.  Never approach or confront these individuals. 

General online safeguards include:

  • Never open attachments or click on links in emails you were not expecting. 

  • Do not use usernames or passwords on accounts that are related to personal information, such as SSN or mother’s maiden name. 

  • Do not give out account information over the phone if you did not initiate the call or are certain you are speaking with your Financial Institution. 

  • Sign up for alerts through Online Banking; you can be notified of every debit to your account, set dollar thresholds for notifications, or even minimum balance alerts to help with real time review of account activity. 

  • Review your account statements promptly and notify us if you suspect that any of your information has been compromised.

Through this partnership we can stop these criminals in their tracks. For more handy tips on how to protect your money, visit our Fraud Prevention page.

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