Preparedness Notes for Sunday – September 02, 2018

September 2, 1969 is the day that the first automatic teller machine (ATM) made its first public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. While being as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail, they have introduced a whole new set of issues. Consumers are faced with scams, skimmers, and robbers, and even fake ATMs have been discovered.


  1. WOW! I was 20 in 1969 so it’s been almost 50 years and I’ve never touched and ATM machine —– and I’m still alive. From what I know ATM (Bank Debit) cards have no liability. If someone gets your number/pin and then drains your account the bank is going to tell you “Sorry Charlie”. I’m not a fan of credit cards but they seem to be a necessary for purchasing online. Credit cards have a maximum liability to the holder. I believe mine is $50.00. CC companies track your use or they wouldn’t be giving you that $50.00 maximum liability. Years ago I made a 3,500 mile trip and when I went to return home the gas station refused my card. I luckily had some cash and was on my way. On the phone I was able to clear things up via the secret data (moms maiden name). I’ve been scammed twice and I think it was because I used to use a credit card for everything for convenience. It was probably a skimmer at the gas station. After twice being scammed I went strictly cash except for online purchases (limited and trusted vendors) and known expenses. The hardest to break was the gas station. Going in, plopping down the cash, and then returning for the change. Inconvenient but after three weeks it was no big deal. What many scammers do is go for quantity not high dollars. We’re talking the $10.00 range. This is because a lot of folks don’t track their expenditures and won’t catch the $10.00. I record all my transactions on an Excel spreadsheet, call the CCC the day after the monthly end date to verify the charge total. It better match or I’m going to be talking to someone in person about the individual charges. Another practice I follow is I have two credit cards. One is strictly for known monthly expenditures, like the phone bill. This way you will know if the card is compromised it has to be one of those few. The second card is the online only card. Everything local is check or cash. I never use online banking. Again, if they get your number/pin you are dead meat.

  2. RG,
    You can use a credit card to make cash withdrawals at an ATM.
    That would cover your account liability issue (good point on the debit card issue).

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