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4 tips to protect you from ATM thieves

2. Use familiar ATMs and limit your visits

ATMs in dimly lighted spots or used late at night could be more susceptible to fraud, while ATMs under video surveillance can be safer. Stay away from ATMs at retail stores or restaurants, adds Siciliano. Recently, skimming devices were found on ATMs in a popular grocery store in central Florida. Airports, convenience stores or kiosks are equally vulnerable to ATM thieves. Still, even highly trafficked ATMs outside a bank branch have been targeted by thieves.

Also, try to limit your visits to the ATM. "With frequency, there's risk," says Siciliano.

3. Check bank balances frequently

Given the two-day window for reporting fraud, it pays to check your account frequently. If you don't report fraud within 60 days, you have unlimited liability. "Sign up for alerts and notice unusual withdrawals," says Vamosi.

With credit cards there are more protections in place, and you can dispute charges."You have at least a billing cycle," says Siciliano.

4. Observe the ATM

Vamosi cautions consumers to look at an ATM to make sure a card slot is "legitimate and not tacked on." Look for things that strike you, he says. "Some people have felt that when they inserted their card, something went awry," he says. In that case, try another ATM.

When protecting your account against ATM thieves, "it's all about awareness, paying attention and understanding risks," says Sicilano. "There are 400,000 ATMs and every one of them is susceptible to fraud. The speed and convenience of technology has replaced the security of technology."

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