10 Facts To Know About ATM Robberies
How safe are you at the ATM? You’ll be a lot safer if you pay close attention to your surroundings, use a well-trafficked and well-lit machine, have personal protection devices on hand, and stick to bank-owned machines whenever possible. Unfortunately, you can never eliminate all risk of robbery when using an ATM. Here are 10 facts about ATM robberies everyone with a debit card should know:
1. Many Robberies Involve Skimmers
Not all robberies are a stick-up. Many thieves install skimmers in an ATM card slot, which is a device allowing them to clone the cards used in the machine. You should always cancel a transaction if the card slot wiggles or seems unusual.
2. Non-Bank ATMs Are a Bigger Risk
ATMs not associated with a bank are often serviced less frequently and as a result, they’re more likely to be tampered with.
3. Less Frequently Used ATMs are Easy Targets
ATMs in low traffic areas are also particularly vulnerable. Thieves are more likely to install a skimmer on a remote ATM that is dimly lit than a machine sitting in front of a bank where everyone can see them tampering with it.
4. Most ATM Robberies Happen at Night
The majority of ATM robberies that do happen in-person take place between midnight and 4 am. Avoid using ATMs during these dangerous hours.
5. You Shouldn’t Count Your Cash Right Away
As soon as your cash shoots out of the machine, you should put it in your wallet and walk away. Count it in the safety of your vehicle or back at home – standing with cash makes you vulnerable to a grab and dash and increases the chances of getting robbed.
6. Drive-Up ATMs are Safer
Drive-up ATMs are often attached to a bank and offer flood lighting. You can also remain in the safety of your locked car. If you must get cash at night, look for one of these alternatives to traditional ATMs. Don’t roll down your window until you get to the machine.
7. Some Robbers Follow Their Victims
Many thieves who watch a person withdraw a lot of cash don’t commit their crime on the spot. Rather, they follow them until the victim is alone or more vulnerable and then grab their wallet/purse. If you see someone following you away from an ATM, go to a crowded area. If you’re in your car, start driving to a police station or well-populated business where you can pull over and call 911.
8. Losses are Generally Over $100
The average loss from an ATM robbery is between 100 and 200 dollars. This makes it well worth it to protect yourself from this type of crime.
9. There is Safety in Numbers
More robberies happen to ATM visits by lone individuals than when people approach the machine in groups. If you have someone in the car with you, ask them to make the quick trip to the ATM instead of staying put in the vehicle.
10. It’s Not Worth Fighting Over
While $100 can be a huge figure for some people, your life always has a lot more value. About 15% of ATM robbery victims get injured. While you should consider self-protection, such as a keychain weapon or stun gun, once you have deployed your weapon you should run – don’t stick around and attempt to get your cash back.
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