Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Crime Prevention Tips

November 6, 2000

Monday, November 6, 2000

"Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Crime Prevention Tips"

Los Angeles – The primary focus of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Crime Prevention Circular is for the purpose of safety. Surveys have shown the reported crime rate at ATM’s has changed little over the last decade and that the occurrence of this crime has a low probability. A person using an ATM is more likely to be the victim of a street robbery or involved in a traffic collision than the victim of an ATM crime. In fact, ATM crime incidents are on a downward trend due to heightened user awareness and prevention applications. However, low probability odds and statistics are a moot point to those who suffer the trauma of an ATM crime.

The following crime prevention tips can help make the use of ATM’s safer for everyone.

Do not select an ATM at the corner of a building. Corners create a blind area in close proximity to the customer’s transaction. Select an ATM located near the center of a building. An ATM further from the corner reduces the element of surprise by an assailant;

Select an ATM at a location void of barriers blocking the line of sight of the ATM. This includes shrubbery, landscaping, signs and decorative partitions or dividers. Barriers provide hiding areas for would-be assailants;

Select an ATM that is in a well-lit location;

Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Do not become so involved with your transaction that you are not aware of changing conditions around you;

Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not write it down or keep it in your wallet or purse. Do not tell anyone else your PIN;

Make sure you retain your transaction receipt. Do not throw the receipt away at the ATM site;

When leaving an ATM location make sure you are not being followed. If you are being followed, drive immediately to a police, sheriff, fire station, or any crowded well-lit location or open business. Flash your lights and sound your horn to bring attention to your situation; and;

If you are involved in a confrontation and the attacker is armed with a weapon and demands your money or valuables, COMPLY.

Commander Sharon Papa, the Department spokesperson, stated "This information is offered to contribute to your personal security while conducting ATM transactions. As far as your security is concerned, you can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Share this information with family and friends. Schedule family discussions and practice regularly to ensure that everyone you know is safe and informed."

There are many more helpful hints and facts outlined in the LAPD’s "Automated Teller Machine Crime Prevention Circular." For more information, or to obtain copies of Crime Prevention Circulars, contact the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit, at 213-485-3134, or visit our Web Site at and open the "Building Safer Communities icon.

This press release was prepared by Officer Charlotte Broughton, Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.

For Release 4:30 pm PST
November 6, 2000