Consider how vulnerable you are when you stop to withdraw cash from an ATM. Whether you’re in your car at a drive-up machine, on the street or in a building’s lobby, you may be marked as a target by a criminal — a target with cash in hand. Follow these simple steps each time you head to the ATM and reduce your risks:
- Try to plan your visits to the ATM during the day, rather than after dark.
- Choose an ATM location in a busy public place.
- If possible, take along a friend who can watch the surroundings while you are conducting your transactions.
- Pre-plan your transaction carefully, and don’t spend too much time at the machine.
- When you make a withdrawal, quickly place the money in your purse or wallet and leave as soon as you finish your transaction.
- Watch out for suspicious-looking people waiting around an ATM — they may not really be customers. If someone offers to let you go ahead of them, decline politely and leave.
- When visiting a drive-through ATM, keep your doors locked and be prepared to drive away quickly. If anyone approaches your car on foot, roll up your window and drive off.
- If you have not finished your transaction and a suspicious character approaches you, press the CANCEL button, receive your card and leave quickly.
(Source: Louisiana REALTORS®)