ATM Safety

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Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) have revolutionized banking allowing customers to do their banking 24 hours a day. They also, however, have been a great help for thieves looking for quick cash. A would-be robber will obviously know an individual using an ATM will usually leave the machine with cash money in their possession.

These safety tips focus on some of the things to be aware of when you use your ATM.

  1. Memorize Your Pin
     Never write your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your card or on a piece of paper you store in your wallet. If your card or your wallet were stolen, the thief would have your PIN.

  2. Use the ATM During Daylight Hours
    According to the Bank Administration Institute, the most dangerous hours for ATM crime are from 7:00 p.m. until midnight, when approximately 40% of ATM-related crimes occur.

  3. Protect Your Privacy
    Stand between the ATM and anyone waiting to use the ATM so others cannot see your PIN or the transaction amount.

  4. Be Prepared
    Minimize the time spent at the ATM by having your card ready and all forms filled out in advance. When your transaction is complete, pocket your card and cash immediately. Count your cash later in the safety of your locked car or home.

  5. Drive-Up ATMs
    Make sure the drive-up ATM is well lighted and that all landscape vegetation is trimmed to remove any area of concealment. Remember to keep the passenger windows closed, doors locked and the car engine running.

  6. Stay Alert
    Be aware of your surroundings, before, during and after you use the ATM. Postpone transactions if any circumstances cause you to be apprehensive about your safety.

  7. Treat Your ATM Card Like Cash
    Guard your ATM/Debit card as carefully as cash, checks and credit cards.

Always use common sense when using an ATM. These safety tips are a start, but the best advice is simply not to use an ATM if you feel at all uncomfortable doing so.

If you have any further questions, or to request a more detailed list of ATM Safety Tips, please call the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at (760) 836-1600.