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How to Protect Yourself While Using an ATM

March 15, 2020

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Everyday, millons of people use ATM machines primarily because of the convenience. However, it is important for you to remain cautious and aware of your surroundings and safety when using an ATM machine. Some robbers look for prey by staking out an ATM machines in a low-traffic and dimly lit areas. Most ATM robberies are committed by a lone offender—using some type of weapon—against a lone victim. You can avoid becoming a victim by not using an ATM machine alone, planning ahead for ATM withdrawals and taking special precautions when using an ATM at night.

We also encourage you to follow these tips from the Office of the Attorney General

  • When you arrive at an ATM, look around. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable or anyone who looks suspicious, do not stop. Either use an ATM at a different location or come back later. Notify the authorities.
  • Have your access card and any other documents you need ready when you approach an ATM. While you are fumbling with a wallet or purse, you are easy game for a thief.
  • If someone else is using the ATM when you arrive, avoid standing right behind them. Give them enough space to conduct their transaction in privacy.
  • Even while using the ATM, stay alert to your surroundings. Look up and around every few seconds while transacting your business.
  • Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not enter your PIN if anyone else can see the screen. Do not use spouse, children, maiden or pet names for PIN number. Shield your PIN from onlookers by using your body.
  • When your transaction is finished, be sure you have your card and your receipt, then leave immediately. Avoid counting or otherwise displaying large amounts of cash.
  • As you leave, keep a look out. Be alert for anything or anyone who appears suspicious. If you think you are being followed, go to an area with a lot of people and call the police.

See more Crime Prevention Tips.