December 22, 2022

ATM, in-store, and other tips to safeguard your personal financial information

During the holiday season, many prepare to travel, spend time with family and friends, and shop for gifts. While this is a beautiful time of year, it's crucial to be aware of the potential financial risks, as it's also the time of year fraudsters are more active, and not just online.

Keeping your finances safe is essential. Here are a few tips to help keep your finances safe while on the go.

Avoid carrying large sums of money

Carrying large sums of cash makes you an easy target for thieves, placing your finances at risk and putting you in harm's way. Instead, take only the amount of cash you need for the day. If you must carry a more significant sum of money, consider splitting it up in different pockets or hiding it safely. This way, you won't lose everything if a thief steals your wallet.


Be wary of ATMs in isolated places

ATMs in busy, well-lit areas are generally more secure than those in isolated, poorly lit areas. Always be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. If something or someone makes you feel unsafe, cancel the transaction and leave immediately.


Keep your credit and debit cards hidden from view

Keep your credit and debit cards hidden from view when paying for items. Shield the keypad when entering your PIN and get your card back immediately once the transaction ends. Fraudsters always look for opportunities to steal your information, so remain vigilant.


Be aware of your surroundings when shopping

Remain aware of your surroundings when shopping in a store or public market. Pickpockets often take advantage of crowded areas and can quickly steal your wallet or purse before you realize it. Therefore, be mindful of your belongings and always keep them near you.


Check for card skimmers at the pump

Always check for card skimmers at a fuel pump when paying by credit or debit card. Skimmers are devices placed over the card reader that capture your payment information from the magnetic strip when you swipe your card. They can be hard to spot, so be aware of their existence and look for any signs of tampering at the pump or hidden cameras. If a skimmer is present, do not use that pump and report it immediately. If you have one, use a chip card or a card that offers contactless payment instead of swiping one with a magnetic strip.


Set up account alerts

When possible, use a bank card instead of cash to make purchases. For example, if a thief steals your wallet or purse, you can quickly cancel your cards and minimize financial damage. Set up credit and debit card account alerts. If your card, or card information, is stolen, you'll know about it sooner and can better mitigate the damage to your accounts.


Instantly block your card if you misplace it

We’ve all experienced it: that moment of panic when you can’t find your credit or debit card. Did you misplace it? Or is it in a thief’s hands? With Digital Banking, you don’t have to waste precious time wondering or waiting on hold with customer service. You can instantly block your card so no transactions can be made. If you find it, you can just as easily unblock it without the hassle of cancelling and ordering a new card. If it doesn’t turn up, you can report it lost or stolen in Digital Banking, too.


Keep copies of important documents in a safe place

Make copies of important documents like your passport, driver's license, and credit cards in case they are lost or stolen. Keep the copies in a safe place, like a locked suitcase, so you can easily access them if needed.


Keep bank account information and PINs confidential

Never give out your bank account information or PINs, even if they claim to be from your bank. If you receive a suspicious call or email asking for this information, do not immediately respond and report suspicious activity to your bank.



Stay alert and remain cautious of your surroundings, and avoid carrying valuable items or large amounts of cash with you. Regularly review your financial accounts for any unauthorized transactions, even when you're not traveling. This way, you can quickly spot any unauthorized activity on your accounts. In addition, immediately report any suspicious activity to your bank. Finally, set up bank account alerts to better monitor transactions and activity.