Make Your NEXT ATM Transaction Safer

This entry was posted by Rob on Wednesday, 2 May, 2007 at

I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but the recent movie trailer I have seen a few times on TV looks pretty good. Also being a fan of Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel, I can’t wait to see it. The movie NEXT is about a guy Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) who is a Las Vegas magician. He has an unique ability that he see up to two minutes into his future. As a twist to the plot, there is of course an abnormality to his superpower. He can also see more than two minutes ahead into the life of Liz (Jessica Biel), a woman whom he has never met.

As the story goes, Cris is on a journey to find Liz, hoping to figure out why he is having visions of her future. At some point, FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) finds out about Cris’ powers and tries to tracks him down. A terrorist in the Los Angeles area is about to detonate a bomb and the FBI believes Cris can stop this from occurring.

How helpful would it be to be able to see a couple minutes into the future? Can you imagine walking down the street with a two minute warning of any danger lurking ahead? It must be nice to be Cris Johnson or one of those 900 number psychic fortune tellers that can see the future. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us without psychic abilities must fend for ourselves.

Unless you are performing some heavy duty banking, most people can wrap up an ATM transaction in about two minutes. Besides the transaction fees accrued if you are not using your bank’s ATM machine, most ATM transactions commence without problems or concerns. However, you sure always be aware of what is going on around you. Unless you are Cris Johnson, you truly never know what is about to happen.

When using the ATM, it is best to lock your car, but make sure you keep your keys handy so you can enter your car quickly after completing your transaction. Always be alert for anything suspicious in the vicinity, especially two or more people in a nearby vehicle, particularly if no one else is at the ATM. Also be weary of anyone who just appears to be hanging around the area. If you believe anything is wrong, leave the area immediately and use another ATM. ATMs are more prevalent than Dunkin Donuts, there are always several option within a very short distance.

When waiting in line, wait well behind the person using the ATM ahead of you. When you are using the ATM, if someone is closer than you would like, politely ask him or her to step back a few steps. If they do not, it may be best to cancel your transaction and leave. Wait in your locked vehicle until that person leaves or better yet, just go to another ATM.

Prior to approaching the ATM, be prepared. Have everything ready before you get there. Have your card ready, know your code, and fill out your deposit envelope. While performing the transaction, stand directly in front of the ATM to block the view of others. You do NOT want others to see your code or how much money you withdraw.

Many ATM robberies occur between midnight and 6 a.m. If you must use an ATM after dark, try not to go alone if possible. If that is not possible, make sure you have some form of self defense product at the ready and know how to use it. Just in case.

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At a drive-up ATM, keep all your doors locked and all windows closed, except the one you are using. Only roll it down as far as necessary, and pull up as close to the machine as possible without sacrificing your paint job or side mirror. Keep you car running, and keep your eyes on what is going on around you. Watch the front, sides, and rear of your car. If anyone approaches your vehicle on foot, cancel the transaction immediately and leave.

When your transaction is completed, immediately put ATM card, receipt, and money into your pocket and leave. You can count your money from the safety of your locked car. If you are leaving the ATM and you feel someone is following you, walk or drive into the closest open business and call the police. Report any ATM crimes to the police and the financial institution that issued your card as soon as possible.

Most of the time, movies seem to end with a happy ending. The guy gets the girl. The world doesn’t blow up. Make sure your ATM visits do not take a turn for the worst. You do not want your NEXT experience to end up “Bad Guys gets your money.” Have a plan and a good self defense arsenal.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Stay safe and be prepared!

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