It’s easy to be fooled into thinking you’re getting a full-service ATM when you’re actually buying a gas station snack or two.
Here are some tips to avoid the scam.
Look at the sign to see if the ATM has a fee schedule.
Most gas stations have a fee calendar, but the one I work at has no.
The sign will tell you, “Pay with Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
Cash or credit card accepted.
ATM hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday through Friday.
ATM locations: 11 locations in California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.”
The sign has a disclaimer: “The ATM machines in these locations are for retail use only, and the operator does not accept cash.
Use your card with caution.”
Don’t forget to fill out a transaction report.
Many gas stations require a cash transaction, but if you can’t pay with cash, ask to use your credit card.
A cash transaction fee is usually waived for customers who pay in cash.
Look out for cash dispensers.
Many grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations also offer cash dispensing machines.
Many have vending machines with cash dispenser options.
If you don’t see one on your street, check the vending machines and call ahead to see how many vending machines are available.
Avoid vending machines where cash is not permitted.
Some grocery stores and convenience stores allow customers to pay in check, cash or credit cards at their locations.
A few grocery stores have a vending machine where you can buy a can of soda.
Don “cash out” your cash in a bank.
The banks are not allowed to accept cash deposits, but they may allow you to pay with a debit card.
Cash is only accepted at certain banks, such as Citibank, which allows you to withdraw cash from ATMs.
Avoid ATM withdrawals where the machines are not staffed.
Some ATM machines are only available at certain times of the day.
This may be a problem in some locations.
Some banks allow you pay in person.
If your bank does not allow cash withdrawals, check with the cashier to find out if the machines will accept your card.
Be aware of the fees charged for ATM transactions.
Some gas stations charge fees to cover the cost of dispensing your cash.
The fees are not reflected in the price of the gas, but may be listed on the card or receipt.
Some of these fees include fees for ATM maintenance, maintenance fees for cash machines and ATM transactions fees.
Some are waived, but you can check the ATM fees and fees with your bank.
Avoid gas station gift cards.
Many gift cards are not redeemable at gas stations.
Some offer cash back or discounts on certain products.
If a gift card is offered, check to see whether the card can be redeemed at the gas station.
Check the hours of operation of the store to avoid ATM withdrawals.
Many stores have ATM hours, but some are not.
The hours vary by location and time of day.
Some locations have regular hours, while others have late-night hours.
Check with your gas station to see what hours are open on certain days.
Know what the ATM will charge you when you make a withdrawal.
Gas stations may ask you to provide your bank information, so check the receipt to be sure you have the correct amount of money.
If the cash is withdrawn from an ATM without your authorization, your card will be charged the amount you requested.
Watch for suspicious behavior.
You can also call a local police or fire department to report suspicious activity, or contact the FBI.
If it’s your first time making a withdrawal, pay in full.
Don to avoid getting your money stolen, so it’s best to be cautious.
The ATM may not be able to take your money, so you may not receive your money at all.