SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Need to make a quick stop at an ATM? There are some things you need to check out besides just your account balance.
Most of us don’t think twice when getting cash from the ATM, and that could provide an opportunity for criminals.
"When visiting an ATM, the biggest thing to remember is safety and the product is not worth your life."
It boils down to awareness - being aware of your surroundings, picking an ATM that is well lit, and taking some precautions before you even get to the machine.
“When you are driving up to the ATM, go ahead on lock your doors. That way, when you come up and see the ATM, you can take a look around and see if anybody is walking up around you, behind, you to the side of you. If there’s a person at the ATM, go ahead and wait for them to finish their transaction and then move on, then you are able to get out - situational awareness," said Cpl. Barry Lewis, SPD Crime Prevention Officer.
Always watch for suspicious activity. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival. Make your vehicle doors and windows are locked. If you get cash, put it away immediately, and drive to a police or fire station or a crowded area if you think you are being followed.
“Very important. If someone does follow you after you have had an ATM transaction, you have obviously taken out money, they have seen it," Lewis said. "Police station, well-lit area, get on the phone with police, go somewhere populated, keep driving, do not stop. Do not go off to an abandoned road or anywhere that is unlit or unsafe.”