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Trucks, Chains and Superglue.

Police officials in Iowa say, ATMs are still attractive targets for unconventional methods of theft.

Stand alone ATMs and machines mounted in walls are still left un-monitored despite the fact many machines are under video surveillance. The knowledge that surveillance systems are primarily used as a deterrent has criminals more confident in pulling off smash and grab attempts at a rate similar to bank heists in the 70s. The difference lies in the fact that no violence or acts of aggression are needed to pull off an ATM heist, making criminals believe they are committing less of a crime and is therefore being “less of a risk”, says Kelly Willis, a retired police captain.

Most criminals have learned that pulling off an ATM heist, or smash and grab really only requires a chain and vehicle. The return, however maybe minimal due to the fact that the machines are in constant use throughout the day, and may very well be empty. In order for them to ensure the machine stays full by the time it’s tied to their trailer hitch, super glue is applied to the card reader, disabling any customer from pulling cash out of the machines.

The best way to catch glue hardened crime before your machine is ripped from the ground is to constantly monitor your ATMs activity using portal sites or applications. A half a day without activity should raise a red flag for most ATM owners. Surveillance can be a nice deterrent, “but without anyone monitoring you may end up getting is a record of yourself being victimized,” says Tom Conly, owner of Conley Security Group. Your best solution to the most severe smash and grab attempts are ATM surrounds, level one safe and ATM alarms. All three solutions are guaranteed to keep criminals from finishing the job, and maybe putting all that super glue to a more constructive use.

8 Ways to Protect Your ATM
1
- SSL Encryption

     SSL or "Secure Socket Encryption" provides your ATM with a means of authentication when communicating with your host. It also provides encryption while the ATM and host are communicating, as long as the terminal is communicating via TCP/IP.
     The alternative would be to connect your ATM through a basic phone line, which works just fine if you have no other option,however, it doesn't encrypt the data and can therefore leave you and your customers at risk.
     The solution? Use a TCP/IP connection that is configured with SSL encryption. This connection option comes standard with SE model machines. However if you have a legacy terminal (i.e. Triton 9100, NH 1500) there is still hope. You can purchase a device that enables your machine to connect via TCP/IP even though your machine doesn't have that option. Click here for more details.
 
2
- Bollards

     The most common physical barriers used by business owners to protect their property are also an effective method of shielding your outdoor terminals. 
     Most Bbollards are large cement spheres or posts that are anchored to the surrounding ground. Many of which can also be designed as light fixtures or even planters to accommodate the locations overall design theme. Companies like Target and Best Buy are known for using bollards.

3
- CCTV
Otherwise known and surveillance video, closed circuit television monitoring is the most effective deterrent you could have in your arsenal. Video surveillance also allows you to monitor your machine from a distance through remote monitors and even advanced smartphone applications. Surveillance cameras provide both you and your customers with a sense of security.


4
- Level 1 Safes

Cause heartache and frustration for criminals by upgrading your machines to a level one safe. These safes can increase it's overall weight up to 600lbs. Sure to dismantle any drilling, sawing and smash & grab attempt.

5
- Skimmer Checks
Skimmers generally consist of two components: the skimmer and a camera. Take time to check your card reader and look around for any potentially hidden cameras that have a clear line of site to the keypad.

6
- Default Passwords

This includes both your master passwords and combination. Currently, most machines will display an error code if the master password is left at default. However, this doesn't mean that your password isn't easily discoverable. Avoid using sequential and repetitive numbers. If you find that your safe combination has been left at default, contact your service provider for instructions, and NEVER give out your combination.

7
- Alarms

ATM alarms are on the rise. The ability to detect prying, banging, tilting and even heat sources such as torches have become common features on most alarms. Bullhorn alarms, are especially effective against attacks. These alarms require key-shut off to disarm them, keeping two 120 decibel speakers blaring no matter where criminals try to hide your machine.   


8
- High Security Locks

Common methods of breaking into a machine are simply drilling a common lock. High end security locks such as the Cencon lock prevent drilling attempts with a series of complicated inner mechanics and digital access codes.
Secure Spot: Know when to load your machines.

It's a dangerous industry and your route can having you feeling quite vulnerable. So it should be no surprise that you find yourself meticulously planning out your route the day before. Usually new clients will ask how much should be loaded in their machine, and how often. However the most important point next to keeping your business running, is ensuring it's security.

Like most criminal activity (especially when it comes to common forms of theft) trends and patterns can always be unveiled. A BAI Global study found that an ATM crime is committed for every 2 million transactions, resulting in about 5,500 crimes a year. In order to stay ahead of criminal activity it's important to understand what your customers are aware of when they visit your terminals.

Here are a few tips an everyday consumer should know when making a withdrawal at an ATM:

1 - Select an ATM in a well lit area.

2 - Avoid ATMs with barriers such as bushes or walls that can provide convenient hiding spots.

3 - Do not select an ATM at the corner of a building, which can create blindsides. Reduce the element of surprise by selecting an ATM at the center of a building.

4 - Use an ATM with built-in or surrounding cameras.

5 - Maintain an awareness of your surroundings; do not become so involved with your transaction that you find yourself oblivious to what is happening around you.

6 - Arrive at the ATM Prepared.

Now let's apply these tips to our route:

- Avoid installing ATMs in dark areas, around barriers and where no cameras present. This will also reduce your vulnerability when you load your machine.

- Maintaining awareness and being prepared before you leave your vehicle will make your loading session significantly safer.

- Always consider the most beneficial route, this of course applies to both your geographical route, as well as the decisions you make along the way. For example, instead of pulling out a wad of cash consider a purchasing an extra cassette, pre-loaded with cash so that all you have to do is swap the cassettes. 

Finally, do your research!

Did you know that the safest time of the day nationwide is 4:00AM - 8:00AM?

Of course most businesses that our ATMs are located in are closed at this time, so you'll have to know when crimes reach their peak throughout the day. 

Traditionally bank robberies occurred on Fridays between the hours of 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM, this is when it was believed banks carried the most cash in their safes in preparation for large amounts of withdrawals, since most companies typically pay their employees on a Fridays.

ATM robberies can occur any time of any day, depending on an ATMs location. However it is much safer to to load your machines in the middle of the week and during the weekends. So avoid loading your machines on Mondays and Fridays.

Some affordable accessories you can purchase are deterrents such as cameras and decals that make it known the ATM is under surveillance. A level-one safe can greatly reduce the chances of a smash and grab, a valuable asset when your machine is in an area such as a street corner. An ATM alarm with a key-switch can force any criminal to give up while attempting to de-bolt a machine.

Crime is never ending, but it can be greatly reduced with the right strategy.

For more information register at ATMTrader.com and get regular newsletters!

 

 

6 Reasons Cash is still King


Small Value Transactions

Want a treat from a local convenience store? Swipe your card, select debit/credit,  enter your PIN, is this amount correct? Do you want cash back? Show your card to the cashier, verify amount again. OR you can just pay with cash. You decide what’s more convenient for you.

Specific Types of Transactions

Cash is found to be the leading payment choice for expenditure categories such as: P2P transactions, Food and personal Care supplies, entertainment, transportation, etc.

When all else fails, Pay with cash

43% of consumers prefer the debit option as their primary payment option. 30% prefer cash and 22 percent say credit cards. And roughly 50% of the time, consumers end up using their preferred form of payments. Their second choice? Cash. And those whose primary option is credit/debit cards go to cash as their back up option as opposed to another form of electronic payment (debit/credit).

Amongst Generation Y, cash is primary

 

Consumers falling between the ages of 18-24 years old prefer cash at a rate of 40%, more than any other age group. Whereas older generations prefer debit and check payments (yes checks still exist).

Lower Income Segments use cash regularly

The unbanked and under banked, or consumers with incomes less than $25,000/year prefer cash over any other option. On the other end of the spectrum are the $200,000/year households who prefer credit cards.  

It can’t be hacked

Only 39% of consumers would say they are “very confident”. With no personal information, aside from a fingerprint, stored on the tender, cash has seemed to keep up with technology as the safer payment solution.

Source: The Financial Brand