Cash Machine / ATM advice

We have provided some simple guidelines for using Cash Machines / ATM's:

  • Never write your pin number down and keep it with your ATM card. This gives a thief ready access to your account. If you have to write it down, keep it separate from your card.
  • When using ATM (Automatic Telling Machines - commonly referred to as 'Hole in the Wall Machines') always ensure no one is looking over your shoulder. They can easily see your pin number and then target you to steal your card.
  • Beware of being distracted while using the ATM. A method being used by criminal gangs is to observe an individual inserting his/her card into the machine and noting the PIN code as it is being entered. The individual is then distracted by having their attention drawn to an item on the ground (for example either £5 or £10 notes). Whilst their attention is focussed on the money, one of the gang removes the card and walks away. The team then have both your card and your PIN number.
  • It only takes seconds for money to be taken from a victims account elsewhere.
  • Criminal gangs have also spilt innocuous liquids including milkshakes over victims clothing distracting their attention from the ATM and again walking away with their card unnoticed. This method has also been used to elicit money from unsuspecting victims coming out of banks.
  • Once you have made your transaction, put your money away, safe and out the view of would be thieves.


Page last reviewed August 2022

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