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Safety Tip of the Week: The Drive Up ATM

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Dr. Graphx

Use the drive up Automated Teller Machine (ATM) during daylight hours.  If you must use an ATM after hours, take someone with you.

Choose an ATM that looks and “feels” safer, even if it’s a few miles away.  Avoid ATM machines with poor lighting or visibility.  Avoid ATMs near obvious hiding places like shrubbery or overgrown trees.  Robbers like to have the element of surprise and no witnesses.

Make sure no one is hiding or loitering in the area of the ATM.  If someone looks suspicious or you have a gut feeling something isn’t right, drive away and find another ATM.

Keep your engine running, your doors locked and all other windows rolled up.  It might also be a good idea to leave enough space between your car and the one in line ahead of you in case you have to maneuver your vehicle out of there.

Make your transaction as quick as possible by having your card ready and your PIN number memorized.  Avoid counting your money in public.  Immediately put away your cash.

Be aware of your surroundings by watching your side and rear view mirrors during the transaction.  Robbers will most likely attack from the rear on the driver’s side.

If you see anyone approaching or feel threatened in any way, drive off immediately.

If an armed robber demands your cash, card or both, or tries to enter your vehicle, drive away.  Call the police and report the incident.

~KM Fawcett

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