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By Tracy Vega

Need cash? Let’s face it, you can find an ATM machine almost anywhere but unless you want to pay those crazy surcharges most of us will head to our closest bank branch and skip being charged more to withdraw. How many of you will use the drive thru because it’s more convenient? Do you think it’s safer since you are not standing around in the open? Guess what, bad guys are getting bolder! Let us help you with a few quick safety tips that will help you avoid becoming a victim at the ATM machine.

1) Don’t be complacent… Safety 101 says be aware of your surroundings. Before you pull up, take a look around for anyone loitering or looking suspicious.

2) Only go to well lit machines on main roads with easy access in and out.

3) Bad guys are looking for easy targets so don’t become one by digging in your purse with the window rolled down. You should have your card in your hand before you pull up.

4) Keep your pepper spray in your hand while you are at the ATM. It’s very easy to hold the small canister and push the button on the machine at the same time.

5) Keep your car in drive with your foot on the brake instead of placing it in park. If someone approaches you it’s one less step you need to take in order to quickly get away.

6) Make sure all of your car doors are locked and the only window rolled down is the one you are using. This is another reason to keep your car in drive. Many of the newer model cars will unlock the door automatically when you put the car in park.

7) Pull as close the ATM machine as you can. This makes it almost in possible for someone to pull the car door open.

8) As soon as your transaction is complete roll up your window and drive away.

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For more safety tips be sure to check out www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com!

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