Monday, April 27, 2009

Bank On Safety

ATMs are a great convenience and a way of life for many people who want quick and easy access to their money. But they have also created opportunities for criminals.

Criminals know that people using ATMs can be easy targets. A thief only has to stake out an ATM in a low-traffic, dimly lit area and wait for the person who is unaware or unprepared.

Other thieves are using hidden equipment to get to your cash at the ATM.

Deputies are investigating a recent report that a skimming device may have been placed on an ATM at the Bank of America branch at 12639 U.S. 41 E.
CCSO urges ATM users to always check for any unusual equipment that may be attached to a cash machine and to report it immediately to law enforcement.

Because of the variety of ATMs and their locations, there is no single formula to guarantee the security. Customers need to consider their environment

Cash machines at banks are probably safest, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid the ones at malls and airports.

CCSO offers these tips for staying safe at ATMS:

1. Be aware of your surroundings. If you’re in your car, keep your windows up and engine running. If anyone or anything appears suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave the area at once.

2. Never allow a stranger to assist you in your transaction, even if you have trouble or your card is stuck.

3. If an ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit, go to another ATM.

4. Avoid using ATMs at night.

5. Avoid large cash withdrawals.

6. If possible, don’t go to an ATM alone. Take someone with you or use the machine when others are around.

7. Have your card and any other documents you need ready. Fumbling through a wallet or purse makes you easy prey for a thief.

Click here to watch a video to help you stay safe at an ATM.