We all do it to get quick cash

It’s something we all do on a regular basis, extract cash from the ATM. In recent months robberies have increased at these cash dispensers. In today’s hectic world everyone seems to be in a rush. Everyday items – household, domestic, commercial and even the food (if you could call it food!) that we see on the supermarket shelves is fast, faster and fastest! Let’s all slow down for a while, and if you decide to take money from your account by means of an ATM, you must slow down!

At the hole in the wall

It is a fact that when we are distracted and our brain is engaged with thoughts other than the task at hand, we will be switched off to our surroundings. The TV safety campaign showing some idiot texting on his mobile while driving and causing a fatal accident seems to go over most people’s heads.  The amount of people who are switched off to their surroundings and those around them while using ATM machines is staggering.

So the next time you use the ‘hole in the wall’ please keep in mind these following safety tips.

Choosing the right ATM Machine

Chose a machine that you can use regularly.  Choose wisely and look for possible ambush points. It is always best if your regular ATM is located in a shop, as opposed to a street.

  • Try to use it in the day time.
  • Before making your transaction take a minute to observe the area and those people in the area.
  • Pay attention to parked cars. If you suspect anything untoward move away immediately.
  • This is  what I refer to as your internal alarm – INTUTION, and it will never trick you, listen to it – always.

Inspect the ATM machine itself

Take a moment to examine the machine itself; does it look like it has been tampered with in anyway? If so, do not use it and report your suspicions to the bank and not the shop.

Never count or display your money at the ATM (Automated Transaction Machine). Always take receipts and statements, never put them in those little bins on the wall beside the machine. Some countries I have visited have drive-up ATM’s, if using these be sure that all doors are locked and only open your window a few inches.

Security PIN

Never give out your pin code to anyone. A genuine bank employee or police officer will never ask this question. Always shield the keypad as much as possible.

These tips are by no means a complete source of safety information. They are just some of the main points to watch out for.

Always remember that if you are caught off guard and held up for your cash, my advice is to hand it over, it’s simply not worth getting into a brawl over cash, or worse ‘a knife fight’. Remember to slow down.

These are just a very small fraction of the type of things we teach in Hard Target Self Defence Classes, to help build up to complete and encompassing situational awareness. Alertness is like any other skill, it needs to be trained and honed into a powerful defence mechanism.

If you have any questions about self-defence or improving your own situation awareness in everyday situations like this, then please feel free to contact us.