Drive Thru ATM’s: Convenient for you and the bad guys.

Out of Hollywood, Florida we get this news tidbit of a cash-strapped soul who is targeting people withdrawing money from Drive-Thru ATM machines. Apparently this Recession-Driven Citizen lays in ambush waiting for an unsuspected and probably very distracted customer to pull up to an ATM machine and once the card has been inserted and the PIN entered, he spring gun in hand and tells them to hit the road. Now the bad guy has access to your monies and makes a withdraw to cover his needs.

I have a love/hate relationship with Drive Thru ATM. I am by definition a lazy bastard and I hate walking into a bank because I always end up going at the time there is only one single solitary teller and I happen to be behind the idiot that still cannot figure out how to write a deposit slip, forgot to endorse the check and has a nasty B.O so I use the Drive Thru ATM. On the other hand, Drive Thru ATMs can be a magnet for idiots like above and the idiots in front of me. Allow me to explain:

  1. Use the Drive Thru ATM as a quick way to get cash. If you have to make a deposit or multiple transactions, try to go inside or use the Drive Thru Teller. The longer you spend in front of the machine, the bigger the chance you are providing some cretin with a gun to use you as his personal ATM. You do not have to check you balance, try to refinance you house/car, apply for a credit card or do any other transaction like you see some doing. It is also the impolite thing to do when you have other people waiting to use the ATM.
  2. Use the Quick Cash, Fast cash or equivalent option if you withdraw money. As the name implies, it is fast, you punch keys  and go through less steps to get your money equaling less exposure time that equals less danger.
  3. Once you have your money and your card, drive forward immediately! Don’t waste time trying to put away your card & cash in the wallet or purse, move away from the ATM A.S.A.P. Just moving a car 2-3 car lengths forward may suck the initiative out of any potential plan by an enterprising criminal.
  4. If you see somebody pedestrian hanging around the ATM suspiciously, get the hell out of there. Either go to another bank or wait for a later time.
  5. Give yourself space to run away. Don’t crowd behind the car in front of you where the bad guy can get two for the price of one, specially if another car is behind you and boxing you in effectively.
  6. In case of emergency, a quick stomp on gas pedal is your best option. Forget the cash, the card and anything else, your life is worth more than the $20 you are taking out for the family pizza or the limit that the bad guy can get out of your account and you can always get another card.
  7. Pay constant attention to your surroundings. Get off the cell phone, stop talking to your passenger or do anything other than look around and get your cash out. You have the rest of your life to engage in inane pursuits.

These are not the only tips or the perfect ones. If you have others, please feel free to share with the rest of the readers.