Education Center

ATM security

ATMs are a fast and convenient way to withdraw cash, check account balances, transfer funds and more. BB&T uses multiple layers of safeguards to protect our ATM systems and, most importantly, our clients. But even with safeguards in place, criminals still target ATMs. If you plan to use ATMs for financial transactions, be sure to make electronic banking security a priority. Here are some important steps to take to ensure you're secure when using an ATM.

Beware of ATM skimming

ATM skimming is the most common type of ATM fraud. Here's what you should know:

  • Fraudsters use scanning devices, known as skimmers, that are placed on top of the real card scanners on ATMs to copy card numbers.
  • Fraudsters place wireless video cameras on or close to ATMs to record people entering their PINs. The cameras are often combined with skimmers so criminals can get card numbers and PINs and use them to create counterfeit ATM cards.
  • Criminal hackers can use Wi-Fi scanners to capture transaction data from systems that aren't equipped with sufficient encryption software.

Look for these warning signs:

  • An extra device attached to or inserted in the card reader
  • An extra layer of material over the keypad buttons
  • Parts that are loose or a slightly different color than the rest of the ATM
  • A camera or small housing with a hidden camera on the ATM that has an unobstructed view of the PIN keypad
  • An unusual new device mounted near or on the ATM
  • Any change to an ATM's appearance, such as visible damage, exposed wires, glue or tape residue, or new banners or stickers

Observe your surroundings

  • Park as close as possible to the ATM.
  • Leave the area if you see anyone or anything suspicious.
  • Avoid using any ATM that is obstructed from view or is poorly lit.

Conduct your transactions wisely

  • Take a companion with you, especially at night.
  • Minimize the time you spend at the ATM by having your card out and ready to use.
  • Give the person in front of you the privacy you expect. Allow them to move away from the ATM before you approach it.
  • Cancel your transaction and leave immediately if you notice someone or something suspicious.
  • Once you've completed your transaction, take your money, card and receipt and leave immediately.
  • Call the police if anyone follows you from the ATM.

Practice good PIN security

  • Stand between the ATM and anyone waiting nearby so others can't see you type your PIN or the transaction amount.
  • Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN.
  • Don't use the same PIN for more than one card.
  • Change your PIN regularly.

Additional tips

  • Keep the car running at a drive-up ATM.
  • Count your money after you've left the ATM.
  • Commit your PIN to memory.

Get help

BB&T uses sophisticated layers of fraud tools to monitor accounts and takes every appropriate action to protect our clients from fraud. If you suspect or witness fraudulent activity at a BB&T ATM, you should immediately contact local law enforcement and alert the closest BB&T branch, or contact BB&T Phone24 at 800-BANK-BBT (800-226-5228).

Related topics

Everyday security

It's important to know how to apply everyday security measures—things like ATM security, protecting your mail and having an organized financial system.

Identity theft

Minimize your risk of identity theft by knowing the warning signs and learning ways to protect yourself, both online and offline.

Branch Banking and Trust Company, Member FDIC.