The convenience of being able to go to an ATM almost anywhere is also one of the machine’s biggest weaknesses. While some criminals devise complex technological hacking tactics to rob ATMs of their money, others try the more direct approach. If they find you withdrawing alone at night to the ATM, there is little that can stop them from attacking you and running away with your cash.
So, is anyone liable for this incident? Potentially. Unlike purse robberies on the streets, ATMs have set locations. The bank or store owner that sets it up needs to consider several aspects of the machine’s position and functionality to minimize any direct assaults from happening. It is becoming more crucial as physical attacks are on the rise. Here are a few aspects that could make an owner liable in an ATM robbery:
A safe location
The best time to withdraw from the ATM is during the day time in a popular area. It is far more difficult for a robber to attack you when there are multiple people nearby that could contact the police, serve as witnesses or even confront the attacker.
Even if using an ATM at night is not recommended, the machine should still be in a location that is well lit and in clear view of an area where there are plenty of onlookers. It is necessary for the owner to maintain safety by replacing the lights when necessary and avoiding any large plants or shrubbery from growing around the area. Criminals are more likely to attack in the dark and use bushes as hiding spots.
When operating an ATM, it can be hard to get your money while constantly trying to maintain awareness of your surroundings. You want to make sure the machine is operating correctly and for no-one to catch a glimpse of your PIN entry, but you do not want anyone sneaking up on you as well.
All ATMs should have mirror installations to allow the users to do their business without having to turn or look over their shoulder. Having a reflective computer screen is not enough, as the lighting of the area and machine as well as the screen’s positioning would not allow users to see behind them clearly.
Most newer ATM systems have built-in cameras to observe any suspicious behavior. However, not all of them have cameras. If there are no built-in cameras, there should be other ways to record incidents in the surrounding area.
The camera itself will not stop attacks and it may not even capture the offender if the robber attacks from far away, obscures the view or wears a mask. Cameras should be in the area regardless. They make make the police’s task far easier as they could contain something in the footage that can help them catch the criminal.
This argument can be a little tricky because it is not an easy installation of equipment. Numerous banks have paid security guards to monitor the area and respond to robberies.
If the ATM is located anywhere else such as a convenient store, you will not succeed in calling out the owners for lacking a guard since most ATM guards are specifically hired for banks. Check to see if the bank that owns the ATM you use has security guards in different locations.
If it has none of the above…
The owners of an ATM have a responsibility to make sure that the machine is in a safe environment for anyone to use. If you are assaulted at an ATM and it did not have appropriate safety precautions, then you may be able to pursue compensation for negligence against the machine’s owner.