Safe ATM Choices are Key

In a recent USAA article, Stacy Cowley, tech editor for CNNMoney shared her nightmare of being a 6 time survivor of identity theft. The central message she imparted was the importance of using big, reputable, well-fortified cash machines.

Seems like the culprit for the majority of her ID Theft experiences were sketchy ATMs, usually those conveniently located in corner delis. As she learned, thieves also like to use these non-bank ATMs; they rig them to capture your card number and PIN. As she says, “use these off-label machines enought times and you’re likely to get hit.”

Stacy’s advice: “Don’t panic!” While ID Theft is scary, in general, banks will immediately freeze your account and reissue a new credit or debit card with a new number. You also get a chance to dispute any transactions.

If your card is stolen, your maximum liability, in most cases, is capped at $50 as long as you report it timely. It’s still frustrating to be cut off from your financial lifelines.

Stacy also recommends keeping a few dollars in cash just in case–it took about a week for her to get reimbursed when her cash was wiped out.

Biggest take away–use bank ATM’s–they’re the least likely to be compromised. Thieves still go mostly for the easy hit–make it hard for them and you’ll have the best chance of staying out of range.

For more id theft prevention tips visit

by HV Shred