ATM Safety Tips
The more than 420,000 automated teller machines (ATMs) in the U.S. and Canada provide a tremendous convenience to consumers, allowing them to withdraw cash anytime of the day or night. But they can also attract robbers looking for easy prey. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Justice, losses from an ATM robbery average between $100 and $200. Also, about 15 percent of victims are injured during the robbery.
Top 10 ATM Safety Tips
- Pay close attention to your surroundings.
- Make sure the area around the ATM is well lit and not hidden from the road by landscaping, decorative parti tions or buildings. If anyone looks suspicious in the area, use an ATM at another location or come back later.
- When possible, use ATMs during the daytime. Most ATM robberies occur at night, with the highest risk between midnight and 4 a.m.
- If possible, take a friend with you to the ATM or use it when there are other customers in the area. Most robber ies are committed against a single victim by a lone robber.
- If while using an ATM you feel a person behind you in line is too close, ask him or her to step back. If he or she does not, cancel your transaction and come back later.
- Limit your time at the ATM. Fill out transaction paperwork in your car and have your ATM card and other docu ments ready as you approach the ATM.
- Do not withdraw large amounts of cash. After making a withdrawal, immediately put it into your wallet or purse before leaving the ATM.
- When using a drive-up ATM, keep your car engine running, the doors locked and all windows up except for the one you are using. Leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead in the line.
- If, despite following these tips, you are still confronted by a robber, Monaco said you should comply.
- You should never fight with the robber. Note the robber’s description as you give him the money. Then get away as soon as it is safe and call the police.