By: Dayo Fasasi
There has been an upsurge of ATM robberies all over the world. Although extreme, some have gone so far as to using explosive devices to open the machine on site. Some thieves still take the money the old fashion way; waiting for you to finish, than rob you.
Here are some tips to avoid being robbed while at the ATM:
- Pay Close Attention
Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Select an ATM located near the center of a building in a public, well-lit area.
Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to the police station or to a crowded area.
- Be Selective
Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or out of place. If the machine offers options with which you are not familiar stop using it immediately and notify your bank.
- Secure Your PIN
Memorize your PIN number as soon as you get it in the mail, never write it on the back of your card or keep it in your wallet. Make a point to cover your PIN as you enter it into the ATM. Never allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your number.
- Dress Simply
Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. Thieves may mistake you for a rich patron and single you out.
- Don’t Count Cash in Plain View
Never count cash in view of the public. If you must count your money do it discreetly or wait until you are in your car or a secure place.
- Be Swift
Before you get out your car to walk up to the ATM have your card in hand. That way you are not looking for it in your wallet or purse at the ATM window.
When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
- Pre-Plan Transaction
Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. Maintain a supply of transaction slips at home or in your car for easy access. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
- Avoid Late Night Transactions
Don’t go to the ATM late at night or early in the morning when it is less likely for passerby’s to see you. When it is less likely for others to see you is when it is more likely for thieves to attack.
Even if you follow these steps, make a point to closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances. If you see any suspicious activity, report it to your bank immediately.