for Avoiding or Resolving an ATM Problem
ATMs in the United
States handle more than 10 billion transactions a year, and the
overwhelming majority go smoothly.
But sometimes things don’t go the way you want or expect.
Here are some problems that ATM users can encounter, plus tips
for avoiding or resolving them.
"A thief is using my ATM card.”
ATM fraud can occur
if a thief steals an existing ATM card or makes a counterfeit card, and
obtains your personal identification number (PIN), which is needed to
To limit you
liability for any losses, it’s important to immediately report the
problem to you ATM card issuer. The
credit union may ask you to sign an affidavit or other notice of the
Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), if you report that
your ATM card is lost or stolen within two business days after you
realize your card is missing, your losses are limited to a maximum of
$50 for any unauthorized use. If
you wait more than two business days to report a lost or stolen ATM
card, your potential liability goes up significantly.
Depending on the
circumstances, if it is clear that you are an innocent victim of fraud
and you promptly reported the loss or theft of the card or an
unauthorized transaction, many banks will voluntarily hold you to no
“My credit union statement shows an incorrect
amount for an ATM withdrawal.”
Always save your ATM
receipts until you compare them to your monthly statement or you verify
your transactions online. Promptly
report any error.
“The ATM ate my card.”
This can happen if,
for example, the card was defective or the credit union suspects it may
be involved in some type of fraudulent activity.
Immediately contact the credit union.
Don’t expect to receive your original ATM card back –
you’ll probably get a replacement card.
The process can occur fairly quickly if you notify the credit
“The machine cheated me.”
What should you do if
the ATM gives you too little cash, or no cash at all, and the receipt
says you got exactly what you asked for?
Immediately contact the credit union, even if the machine belongs
to another financial institution or company (although it’s wise to
alert that other entity, too, if possible.)
Make sure to keep a
record of the conversation. It
also never hurts to follow up in writing.
The next step is for the ATM’s owner to determine if the
machine has too much or too little cash, and why.
to my deposit?”
When making a deposit
at the ATM, record the transaction in your checkbook, including
information about each check. Keep
the ATM receipt and verify the deposit by reviewing your account
If you believe some
or all of your deposit was mishandled, immediately contact your credit
union and follow up with a letter.
If a check is missing, you might have to ask the check issuer to
Also remember that
deposited funds are not immediately available for you to withdraw; they
will be subject to the credit union’s availability policy and federal
Article courtesy of FDIC Consumer News