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ATM machines: The facts

An automated teller machine, or ATM allows financial transactions to be made by users. It is a telecommunications device which removes the need for a bank cashier or teller.

The facts

ATM machines, (or a cash point as they are sometimes referred to) are found both inside and outside banks. A service which all ATMs provide is the withdrawal of money from the bank account of the user, via the use of an ATM card (this is most commonly a chip and pin card). ATM cash is most commonly provided in denominations of 10 or 20, although some do provide smaller notes. Cash withdrawal occurs when the user inputs the pin number associated with his account and chooses an amount to withdraw. In most cases, accounts in negative figures will not allow a cash withdrawal unless a planned overdraft is in place.

Potential Issues

ATM fraud and ATM security can be of concern to users. There are several key points which should be considered when using ATMs: A user must note that ATMs can attract petty theft, as these machines provide access to cash for individuals who wish to steal money. To avoid such issues, the user should ensure that when withdrawing cash he is especially vigilant to any passers by who show an untoward level of interest. Another security issue which users may face is hacking. At its most basic level, this can involve distraction techniques and petty theft, as thieves observe your pin number as you input it and then misappropriate your card. This can allow them to withdraw money from your account. To guard against this type of theft, you should be vigilant and a simple way to mask a pin code is to cover the key pad of the ATM as you input it. Another way to hack ATM transactions is mechanical and involves the thieves inserting a device into the card receiving slot on the ATM itself. This device copies the information of any card inserted into the machine, which is then used to commit fraud against the user. To guard against this, the user can be advised to be vigilant as to any changes to the cash machine. If any is apparent, it is important that the user change machines without inserting a card. If the card is already inserted, the user should contact his bank and advise them of his concerns. The bank should then be able to track any out of the ordinary transactions, or provide a new card to prevent fraud. The user should also contact the operator of the ATM machine to inform them of any visible damage or interference.

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