Observe your surroundings before using an ATM. If the machine is obstructed from view or poorly lit, visit another ATM.
Shield the screen and keyboard so anyone waiting to use the ATM cannot see you enter your PIN or transaction amount.
Put your cash, card and receipt away immediately. Count your money later, and always keep your receipt.
If you see anyone or anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave immediately. If anyone follows you after making a transaction, go to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
When using an enclosed ATM that requires your card to open the door, avoid letting strangers follow you inside.
When using a drive-up ATM, make sure all passenger car doors are locked and windows are up.
Do not leave your car unlocked or engine running when you get out to use an ATM.
While many ATMs are available 24 hours a day, some may be open only during local business hours. To be on the safe side, plan your withdrawals ahead of time.
Check with your financial institution to determine what the daily withdrawal limit is for your account.
Protecting your card
Keep your card in a safe place to avoid damage or theft.
Memorize your personal identification number (PIN). Never write the PIN down on anything in your wallet or on the card.
When selecting a PIN, avoid numbers and letters that relate to your personal information. For example, don’t use your initials, birthday, telephone or social insurance number. If you have such a number, contact your bank and get a new PIN issued.
Immediately report a lost or stolen card to your financial institution.
To help guard against fraud, keep your ATM receipts until you check them against your monthly statement.
Tips when travelling abroad
International ATMs may save you money. Withdrawals are dispensed in local currency and are debited from your account in Canadian dollars based on a favourable exchange rate.
All Mastercard/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs feature easy-to-read instructions in English and the local language.
Have your card out and ready to use.
Some international ATMs are available only during normal business hours. Hours vary from location to location.
Most international ATMs do not permit transactions involving multiple accounts. Most likely, your transaction will be routed to your primary account.
Four-digit numeric PINs are standard in most locations.