Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
ATMs are everywhere. We live in a 24-hour society. They are a convenient way to get cash or conduct limited bank transactions when banks are closed. But everything good is corruptible.
There are numerous types of ATMs set in a variety of environments. Therefore there is no single strategy for all ATMs.
The goal of the thief is to get your cash. So you could be either robbed or scammed out of your money. Sometimes scams wonít be realized until much later. This it not to say that a thief wonít change tactics and rob you if the scam starts to fail.
Always be alert to your surroundings when out and about.
Always trust your instincts. If you feel that something isnít right then leave the area immediately. Donít hesitate to use another ATM.
The University Of Texas At Austin Police Department has an excellent article regarding this type of activity. Check out the link
Concluding the Transaction
Once you are done leave the ATM. Donít delay your exit by counting your money. Put your cash and receipt away. Always take your receipt. You can double-check your transaction later in a safe environment.
As you leave be aware of your surroundings. Also be alert to anyone appearing to follow you. If you suspect someone is following you get to a populated area. If you are in a car then drive to the local police station. If you are on foot step into a store or some other place where there are other people.
Things to Consider
Try to plan ahead. If you know you will need cash try to get it ahead of time. This idea is what crime prevention is all about. Donít make a regular pattern of ATM use. Someone could be sizing you up for a robbery.
Typically an ATM inside a bank during business hours is much more safer than at an ATM kiosk in an empty parking lot at midnight. Additionally a thief who tries to tamper an ATM that is inside or connected to an institution (like a bank or mall) is less more likely to be seen and thus less likely to succeed.
Memorize your PIN. If you must write it down on paper then donít carry it with you. Safeguard this information. Never give out your PIN. Donít use something obvious like your date of birth.
Donít hesitate to choose another ATM if you donít feel comfortable. Donít ignore the warning signs. Fear is a natural response to perceived threats. Use that fear to protect you. This information should not discourage the use of ATMs. Some ATMs can be relatively safe at one point but later becomes unsafe. Also donít hesitate to point out any unsafe conditions to the institution in charge of that particular ATM.
Even if you take every precaution there is no guarantee you will not become a victim. Obviously if you are confronted and robbed donít resist. Your personal safety is the number one priority!
For more crime prevention information contact:
Officer Dave Hines at 781-595-2000 X- 4353
(Voice Mail) 781-477-7861.