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Security at the ATM

Front panel of an ATM machine

While withdrawing larger amounts of cash from an ATM will cut your total transaction costs significantly (because you are making fewer withdrawals during your trip), don't carry large amounts of cash in your wallet.


Invest in a good money belt or waist pack to wear your cash or leave some in the hotel safe. ​​

Be aware of your surroundings as you leave the ATM. Thieves know where the money is. Try to conduct all currency exchange transactions during daylight hours.


Save your receipts and carefully check your bank and credit card statements when you return home. Notify your bank immediately if you notice any duplicate or unauthorized charges.


When possible, withdraw your cash from ATMs located at a bank - thieves are less likely to target a cash machine near surveillance cameras.


Stay away from “independent” ATMs, which have high fees and try to trick users with “dynamic currency conversion.” These ATMs are labeled with names such as Travelex, Euronet, Moneybox, Cardpoint, and Cashzone and are often found next to bank ATMs in the hope that travelers will not notice the difference. Crooks plant skimmers in these types of ATMs and in a matter of seconds can steal your PIN and the account data stored on your card’s magnetic stripe.


Many banks have their ATMs in a small entry lobby which protects users from snoopers and bad weather. When the bank is closed, the door to this lobby may be locked.  In this case, look for a slot next to the door. Simply insert or swipe your debit or credit card in this slot and the door should automatically open. But be very aware. If someone slips in right behind you without using a card, leave immediately.


How to Find an ATM


How Do You Know if Your Card Will Work?

Check out the logos on the front of the ATM. See below for example. Do you see the name of your issuer or the words Cirrus or Plus? If you have any one of those on the front or back of your card, the ATM will work for you.

  • Cirrus is a worldwide interbank network that links MasterCard, Maestro, Diners Club credit, debit and prepaid cards to a network of over one million ATMs in more than 100 countries worldwide.​

  • Plus is an interbank network that covers all Visa credit, debit, and prepaid cards, as well as ATM cards issued by various banks worldwide. Currently, there are over one million ATMs in more than 170 countries worldwide.

Logos on an ATM machine
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