Credit Card / ATM Safety

Automatic Teller Machines

The Automatic teller machines (ATM) make banking much more convenient. However, there are certain aspects of using these machines that could lead to criminal victimization. The convenience these machines give the customer also lends opportunity to the criminal. Follow some of these helpful tips to keep your credit cards safe at ATMs:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of anyone who does not appear to be there for banking purposes
  • Utilize ATMs located inside an open business whenever possible
  • Always avoid using street ATMs during nighttime hours
  • Trust your “gut feelings.” If things don’t feel right, avoid that ATM
  • Have the card out of your wallet or purse before approaching the ATM
  • When you enter your password, position yourself so that people around you cannot see the keypad
  • Don’t withdraw large amounts of cash, and secure your withdrawal at the ATM. Don’t walk with money in hand
  • After completing your cash withdrawal, use discretion when counting the money. The less visibility the better. Always take your receipt with you
  • If a robber demands your money, don’t argue or fight with them. Note the robber’s description and give them the money

Account Protection

  • Select a password that only you would know and that cannot be determined from items in a wallet or purse
  • Don’t give our your password to anyone under any circumstances. If someone calls and says he or she is from the bank and needs to verify your PIN number, do not give the number. No bank allows its employees to verify PIN numbers
  • Do not write your PIN number on the ATM or credit card, or on anything in your purse or wallet
  • Don’t lend your card to anyone
  • Report lost or stolen cards to respective banks and police immediately
  • Today’s thieves do not hesitate to use your credit cards, personal checks, debit cards, social security cards, or your identity

Illegal Use Of Credit Card Prevention Tips

  • Photocopy the front and back of all your credit cards. Keep the copies in a safe and secure location. In this way if your wallet is stolen, you will have a reference to cancel your credit card as soon as possible
  • Don’t carry more than one or two credit cards and never leave credit cards or personal checks unattended
  • Carry your credit cards separate from your wallet
  • If you purchase something by credit card and you receive a receipt, take it with you. This will prevent someone illegally copying your card number
  • Tear up unused applications. For example, those received in the mail telling you that you’ve been "pre-approved"
  • If you receive a letter stating you have received a credit card in the mail and you have not received it, notify the company immediately
  • Beware of vendors calling and trying to sell you merchandise or gifts over the phone. For example, “You have won a prize.” Don’t give them your credit card number
  • Always check catalogs to be sure your credit card number is not printed on the cover or mail order form. If so, contact the company and demand they remove it
  • Remove your address and mail order envelope from catalogs before throwing them out or recycling them

Helpful Numbers

  • American Express
    Ph: 800-528-2121
  • Visa / Master Card
    Ph: 800-622-6587
  • Carte Blanche
    Ph: 800-525-9150
  • Diner’s Club
    Ph: 800-525-9150
  • Driver’s License
    Ph: 214-553-0033
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
    10679 E. Northwest Highway
    Dallas, Texas 75238

Law Enforcement Agencies

  • Emergency: 911
  • Highland Park Department of Public Safety
    Ph: 214-521-5000
  • University Park Police
    Ph: 214-363-3000
  • SMU Police
    Ph: 214-768-3388
  • Dallas Police
    Ph: 214-744-4444
  • Dallas Sheriff
    Ph: 214-749-8641