Consumer Law

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and the Law

How can you safeguard yourself in making ATM deposits?

Banks depend on the information you write on the ATM envelope plus the computerized information that goes along with the envelope. That is why many of these envelopes ask you to write your whole ATM card number on the envelope—in case the envelope and the computerized transaction record don't match up exactly. You don't really have to put down your whole card number, but it isn't a bad idea.

Think twice about depositing cash at your ATM. Remember that your computer-generated "receipt" of an ATM deposit only reflects the information that you input on the ATM keypad. It does not prove that you deposited any amount, only that you were, at the time of the transaction, stating that you were depositing that amount. For this reason, some people never make substantial deposits of cash via ATM, and this is probably a good approach.

Your checks should, besides being endorsed, also contain the notation "For Deposit Only" under the endorsement, ideally with the name of your bank and your account number as well. Be sure to confirm the amount actually posted to your account by your monthly statement or, if your bank has one, its computerized bank-by-phone system.

>>How can you find out about ATM fees?
>>What fees are unreasonable?
>>What fees are reasonable?
>>Do you have a contract with your ATM issuer?
>>How can you safeguard yourself in making ATM deposits?
>>How can you make your ATM transactions secure?
>>How carefully should you guard your PIN?
>>Should you save the receipts of each transaction?
>>If you don’t save them, should you be careful of how you dispose transaction slips?
>>What happens when you leave your card in the ATM?


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