When you go to the ATM, it’s important to be vigilant.
Thieves often lurk around ATM’s to steal your cash when you turn around. Even scarier, they may be able to steal from you without even being there.
South Bend Police Lieutenant Cindy Kilgore says more than 3 million people are victimized each year, and shares some guidelines to protect yourself.
Kilgore says thieves can insert a device which records your card information, so they can continue to use it later. Make sure everything in the card slot looks normal. Most banks keep the ATM face free of clutter, so it’s difficult to disguise a skimmer or a camera.
Kilgore says it’s important to minimize the amount of time you spend around the ATM, so thieves have less time to approach.
Don’t do anything that might attract attention to you and the fact that you’ve just withdrawn cash from the ATM.
Kilgore also warns against rumors that entering your pin number backwards will somehow alert police that you’re in trouble.
“It’s an urban myth,” she says, noting that the Federal Trade Commission did look into the possibility. She says while it is technically possible, they decided it was not safe. “Many times under duress you will fumble, and that could alert a suspect as to what you’re trying to do.”
Kilgore says money is never worth the risk of injury.