Adhere as faithfully as possible to the following proactive security measures when using an ATM:
• Always be vigilant when using ATMs.
• Be mindful of what is going on around you at all times.
• Ensure that the ATM is well-lighted.
• Make sure there are no bushes, trees, other landscape or natural growths, or any man-made objects or structures (dumpsters, garbage cans) that might obstruct your view of what is going on around the ATM.
• Make sure the ATM can be clearly seen from sidewalks and roadways. Best to pick one that has a decent amount of foot and/or vehicular traffic passing by.
• Use an ATM that is accessible from your car, if possible, but always apply the first two principles above, keeping in mind that in a life-threatening situation, your vehicle is a 3,000-lb. weapon.
• Consider acquiring cash from another source, such as “cash back” during a purchase transaction.
• If possible, use an ATM that is located within a secure location, like a bank.
• Always ensure you have your transaction ready before you unlock your car doors and you approach the ATM.
• Go directly back to your car as soon as you conduct the transaction. You want to minimize the amount of time you are exposed.
• Immediately lock the doors to your car before doing anything else, such as putting on your seat belt. Count your money in your locked vehicle, and waste no time leaving the area. Better yet, count your money someplace else – but make sure your vehicle is locked when you do so.
• Plan ahead and make an effort to avoid using an ATM during the hours of darkness, especially if alone.
A sense of caution is the objective.