The ATM is a wonderful convenience, especially if you are unable to make it in during bank hours. Unfortunately, a combination of opportunity and means could make you an unsuspecting target if the wrong person came along.
It is important to think ahead and to take some precautions at the ATM. Here are some tips to keep you and your money safe.
- Observe your surroundings before approaching the ATM. Look for an ATM that is well lit and that is free from obstructions. And of course, don’t approach an ATM if you notice suspicious activity in the area.
- Be prepared before you reach the ATM. Have your card out and ready, know your PIN and know what you need to do so that you may conduct your business as quickly as possible. The less time you linger, the less time a robber has to target you.
- Use your hand to shield the keyboard and screen so that someone waiting in line cannot see you enter your transaction amount or PIN.
- Leave quickly, putting away your receipt, card and cash. Wait until you are in a safe place to count your cash.
- If using a walk-up ATM, never leave your car unlocked or the engine running when you get out. If it’s night, be sure to park in a well-lit area, preferably close to the ATM. If possible, take someone with you.
- If using a drive-up ATM, keep all doors locked and windows rolled up. And again, leave the area as soon as your transaction is complete.
We all think that crime won’t happen to us but, sadly, it can happen to anyone at any time. We urge you to use caution and common sense in your daily life, especially where money is involved.