ATM Fraud – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Currently, how many ATMs are deployed in the U.S.?

According to an estimate by Thomson Media’s ATM and Debit News, the number of ATMs currently deployed in the U.S. is approximately 425,000.

2. How big is the ATM market?

ATMs have become one of the most popular payment systems used by American consumers. In 2012, 5.8 billion ATM withdrawals handled over $687 billion.

3. How big is the fraud problem?

The amount of money diverted from ATM systems in the U.S. is a fraction of the amount of funds processed. It amounts to approximately 1/2 of one percent by industry estimates.

4. Is this the industry’s fraud tolerance rate?

There is no tolerable rate of fraud. All fraud is a crime. That’s why the industry for 25 years has continually invested its resources in significantly upgrading the security of its systems in an effort to stay ahead of the bad guys.

5. How much money do consumers lose annually in ATM Fraud?

None. Consumers lose no money when they are victimized by ATM fraud. Consumers’ financial institutions continue to indemnify cardholders by assuming liability for all losses consumers suffer when ATM crime occurs. Financial institutions continue to have a high degree of confidence in their ATM systems and networks, and they are willing to back that confidence. Of course, it is incumbent on consumers to observe basic safety procedures when using an ATM or ATM card, and to follow the instructions of their card-issuing financial institutions should they suspect that they have become the victim of ATM fraud.

6. What are those procedures that consumers should follow?

Pay attention to the machine and your surroundings before you use it. If you see something that appears unusual or with which you are not familiar use another machine. Don’t use a machine if you’re not comfortable. Be wary of people around the ATM trying to help you with your transaction. Do your automated banking in a public, well lighted place. Watch out for people looking over your shoulder when you’re using the ATM. Check your bank statement each month, as well as your balance, and report any problems. Never write your PIN down or give it to someone. Don’t leave your wallet on the front seat of your car, and don’t keep re-entering your PIN number if an ATM “eats” your card. There are simple precautions consumers can take to protect themselves no matter what payment systems they use.

Electronic Funds Transfer Association 
4000 Legato Road, Suite 1100 | Fairfax, Virginia 22033  | Ph: 571-318-5556

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