Automated teller machines (ATM) have become the target of criminal opportunities such as robberies, purse thefts, and other personal crimes. The following is a list of suggestions to help reduce your vulnerabilities and criminal opportunities.

General Rules & Suggestions

Here are some general rules and suggestions to keep in mind when using an ATM:

  • Treat your ATM card like cash. Always keep your card in a safe place.
  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret. Never write your PIN on your card, and don’t store it near your card.
  • Never give out information about your PIN over the telephone.
  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately.
  • Closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems to your bank.

At an ATM

When at an ATM:

  • Always observe your surroundings before conducting an ATM transaction.
  • Always be aware, alert, and prepared to act when visiting an ATM.
  • If possible, do not use an outside machine. Use machines that are inside locked.
  • If you use an outside machine, use one that is well-lit and visible.
  • Try not to visit a machine alone.
  • Minimize time spent at the ATM by having your card out and ready.
  • Don’t just walk up to the machine. Look around for suspicious cars or persons.
  • If using a drive-up machine, keep your engine running, doors locked, and the windows up while waiting in line. In most cases, a drive-up machine is safest.
  • If there is any sign of trouble, drive off.
  • When possible, leave enough room between cars to allow for a fast exit.
  • Cover PINs so no one can read them.
  • Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
  • Don’t leave receipts lying around (take them with you.) Don’t put them in the trash container near the machine.
  • If anything suspicious happens, cancel your transaction and leave the area. Notify police.
  • If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, complyNotify police.
  • Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building – corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building.

Using ATMs at Night

When at an ATM at night:

  • Park close to the ATM in a well-lighted area.
  • Take another person with you, if at all possible.
  • If the lights at the ATM are not working, don’t use it.
  • If shrubbery has overgrown or a tree blocks the view, select another ATM and notify your bank.
  • If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, complyNotify police.