Health, Finance & Security Tips

“Without health [and security] there is no happiness. An attention to health, then, should take the place of every other object.” ~Thomas Jefferson, 1787

This “Health, Finance & Security Tips” page contains links to our posts on health (physical, psychological, spiritual), finance, and security issues. Simply put, we can’t be effective warriors for Christ and patriots for America if we are sick, debilitated, corrupt, or mired in money troubles.

This page also includes posts we’ve done on dangerous pet food because our cats and dogs play such a vital role in our mental health and well being — a phenomenon verified by scientific studies. Besides, we love our pets! :)

The human health posts are colored blue; posts on our pets are colored purple. Posts on finances are colored green. I also recommend you go to our “Creation” page for pics of flowers and animal stories which are good for your soul, as well as our “St. Michael’s Prayer” and “Angels and Saints” pages for spiritually uplifting stories.

Included on this page are also tips (colored orange) on securing our physical safety. Most of the tips were contributed by Steve, a former Teamster in the movie/TV industry and bodyguard to celebrities.

Be strong!

~Eowyn  

Mysterious lung virus sickens 1000+ kids in 10 states; will become nationwide,” Sept. 8, 2014.

Birth control pills and other chemicals producing intersex Franken-fish,” Sept. 4, 2014.

Healthy and Fit at Any Age,” Sept. 3, 2014.

Television: the Drug of the Nation,” Aug. 28, 2014.

Ebola out of control: dogs eating Ebola corpses in Liberia,” Aug. 28, 2014.

Remarkable cancer cure story using ADULT stem cells,” Aug. 12, 2014.

Beware of deadly ‘Choking Game’ spreading via social media,” Aug. 6, 2014.

Obama signs Executive Order for detention of Americans showing signs of ‘respiratory illness’,” Aug. 3, 2014.

Can out-of-control Ebola epidemic hit America?,” July 31, 2014.

Illegals bring pneumonia and swine flu to Calif-Texas Navy bases,” July 15, 2014.

World Health Organization: HIV ‘exploding’ among homosexual men,” July 14, 2014.

U.S. running out of more and more prescription meds,” July 13, 2014.

How to Spot a Liar,” July 6, 2014.

Worst & best states to live in, according to residents,” July 6, 2014.

A transsexual regrets his ‘gender-reassignment’ surgery,” June 29, 2014.

Looking for a job? Don’t state your religion on resumé,” June 19, 2014.

Anti-aging hormones actually may shorten life,” May 25, 2014.

Will you become a millionaire?,” April 29, 2014.

How To Become a Millionaire (Part Two),” April 29, 2014.

Easter lilies are poisonous for cats!,” April 17, 2014.

Deadly Ebola virus jumps from Africa’s jungles to urban centers,” April 15, 2014.

Women who took birth control pills for more than 3 years double the risk of glaucoma,” April 13, 2014.

Diet soda linked to more heart attacks in post-menopausal women,” March 29, 2014.

Beware of new method of car theft at gas stations,” March 20, 2014.

Shadow diseases,” March 19, 2014.

Music is good for our health,” March 16, 2014.

Birth control pills linked to 30% increased risk of multiple sclerosis,” March 4, 2014.

14 reasons not to drink diet soda,” Feb. 7, 2014.

Beware of Obama’s new scam, the MyRA,” Feb. 1, 2014.

Alarming: Outbreak of antibiotics-resistant “nightmare bacteria” in Chicago,” Jan. 28, 2014.

12 horrible health effects of alcoholism,” Jan. 15, 2014.

Unsafe foods from China and elsewhere,” Jan. 14, 2014.

What a life of alcoholism does to David Cassidy,” Jan. 14, 2014.

Beware of all foods from China!,” Jan. 9, 2014.

Faith and Health,” Dec. 21, 2013.

Mystery flu-like illness killing Americans, including Alex Jones’ cousin,” Dec. 20, 2013.

Juicing Can Save Your Life!,” Dec. 10, 2013.

USDA approves import of chicken processed in China despite safety concerns,” Nov. 13, 2013.

The Importance of Parental Wisdom and Guidance,” Nov. 12, 2013.

How I Healed My Arthritis Naturally,” Nov. 6, 2013.

China’s purchase of iconic U.S. Smithfield Foods raises food safety questions,” Oct. 26, 2013.

600 dogs dead from eating Made-in-China jerky treats,” Oct. 23, 2013.

Oklahoma town’s drinking water infested with worms,” Aug. 29, 2013.

HPV vaccines have infertility side-effects,” Aug. 28, 2013.

America’s Retirement Disaster: 50% of 55-64 y.o. have only $12k in retirement savings,” Aug. 27, 2013.

What high heels do to women’s feet,” Aug. 18, 2013.

How much do you know about cancer? Take this quiz,” Aug. 15, 2013.

6 in 10 employers plan to make fat employees pay more for their healthcare,” April 9, 2013.

10 signs of cancer women shouldn’t ignore,” Mar. 19, 2013.

Erin Brockovich warns residents near giant Louisiana sinkhole to get out,” Mar. 11, 2013.

Why you need at least 6 hours of sleep a night,” March 5, 2013.

Killing Us Softly – Part 1”  January 28, 2013

Oprah and the skincream made from foreskins,” Jan. 27, 2013.

Gonorrhea is now antibiotic resistant,” Jan. 17, 2013.

New ethical flu vaccine by Novartis does not use aborted fetal cell lines,” Jan. 13, 2013.

5 foods that make us smarter,” Jan. 8, 2013.

Do bacteria cause obesity?,” Dec. 31, 2012.

5 surprising signs of cancer,” Dec. 20, 2012.

A simple quick test predicts how long you’ll live,” Dec. 16, 2012.

Simple Trick During Cold & Flu Season,” Dec. 11, 2012.

Psychiatric nurse says half of patients have a spiritual affliction,” Aug. 26, 2012.

20 tips to prevent senile dementia,” Aug. 23, 2012.

Future Hope for Patients With Macular Degeneration and Other Retina Diseases,” Aug. 19, 2012.

Dem Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has bipolar disorder,” Aug. 14, 2012.

Frightening new “devil’s breath” drug erases free will,” July 24, 2012.

Road to Obesity: Schoolhouse to Jailhouse,” July 18, 2012

Watch out for these 10 prescription drugs!,” July 8, 2012.

Why obesity offends God,” May 20, 2012.

Chinese study confirms abortion-breast cancer link,” May 17, 2012.

How’s your Financial I.Q.? Take the test!,” April 25, 2012.

Things you’re wearing that could kill you,” March 24, 2012.

How a middle class family accumulated $1.5m in assets,” March 21, 2012.

Bored Americans inhale cinnamon for kicks,” Mar. 20, 2012.

Animal cruelty by Walmart’s pork suppliers,” Mar. 8, 2012.

10 lipsticks with the most lead,” Feb. 18, 2012.

8 drugs doctors won’t take,” Feb. 6, 2012.

Junk food shrinks your brain!,” Jan. 25, 2012.

Magic Pill that fights disease and adds years to your life!,” Jan. 21, 2012.

Mending bones,” Jan. 20, 2012.

Baby in womb protects mom from disease,” Jan. 15, 2012.

Don’t feed fish to your cats and dogs!,” Jan. 11, 2012.

Red wine prevents breast cancer!,” Jan. 10, 2012.

13 foods that fight pain,” Jan. 9, 2012.

Obamacare’s neurosurgical death panel for Americans 70 and over,” Jan. 9, 2012.

Aborted human fetal cells in your food, vaccines, and cosmetics,” Dec. 22, 2011.

Water or Coke, you choose!,” Dec. 4, 2011.

U.S. dogs die from chicken jerky treats from China,” Nov. 22, 2011.

Do you know what’s in your McRib sandwich?,” Nov. 5, 2011.

Why are our Babies Getting Hepatitis B Vaccination?,” Oct 29, 2011.

10 flowers you can eat,” Sept. 27, 2011.

Tattoo ink contains carcinogens,” Sept. 13, 2011.

Warning: New synethetic opiate ‘krocodil’ rots away flesh,” August 8, 2011.

What they’ll never teach you in ‘homosexual education‘,” July 28, 2011.

People’s Pharmacy – Eyecare & pickle juice,” May 18, 2011.

Religious faith is most powerful non-medicine against pain,” May 1, 2011.

Dire Warnings and 100 Items You Need to Survive,” Jan. 2, 2012.

Steve’s Security Goofup and a Lesson in Humility

How not to have your home burglarized,” August 2, 2011.

Electronic Pickpocketing and How to Protect Your Credit Card,” December 11, 2010.

How to tell if a mirror is really a two-way snoop mirror: “No Space, Leave the Place,” December 4, 2010.

…………

Top 100 Items to Disappear First During a National Emergency     10/26/2010

I just ran across this handy list, and thought it would be nice to add.

See how many you have on hand. Obviously you probably can’t have all, but the

More you have , the better you’ll be if things go Real Bad, Real Quick.

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.)
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.

25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)

For rest of list pls   GO HERE

With Much Thanks To Josey Wales.
Contributed by Josey Wales
Monday, October 25, 2010 7:57

~Steve~ 10/26/2010

Here’s a great article I found On Who Lives and Who Dies in Disasters. See what they all had in Common. It just may save your life some day.

Steve (8/18/10)

THE 12 RULES OF SURVIVAL
By Laurence Gonzales

There’s an excellent article by Chuck Baldwin on how to survive if everything falls apart. CLICK HERE.

~Steve (6/16/10)

*****

Report #7: HOW NOT TO BECOME A VICTIM OF CARJACKING

Carjacking of parked vehicles depends on the car owner being inattentive to their surroundings. Like street robbers , carjackers prefer the element of surprise. Most victims say they never saw the carjacker until he appeared at their car door. To reduce your risk of being carjacked, here are some common-sense pointers to remember:

First and foremost, you have to get out of the habit of going through life in Condition Duh!, totally unaware of your surroundings.

Always, always, be in Condition Yellow – a hightened state of awareness. Lift your head and look around. If you see something that does not look right, it probably is not. Trust your instincts!

Here are specific anti-carjacking tips:

  • Always park in well-lighted areas, especially if you plan to arrive/leave after dark.
  • Don’t park in isolated or visually obstructed areas near walls or heavy foliage.
  • If you’re a woman driving alone, use valet parking or an attended garage.
  • As you walk to your car, be alert to suspicious persons sitting in cars.
  • Ask for a security escort, if you are alone at a shopping center.
  • Watch out for young males loitering in the area, handing out flyers, etc.
  • If someone approaches you as you’re walking to your car, change direction or run to a busy store.
  • Follow your instincts if they’re telling you to walk or run away to a busy place.
  • As you approach your vehicle, look under, around, and inside your car.
  • If it looks safe, open the car door, enter quickly, and lock the doors.
  • Don’t make yourself a target by turning your back while loading packages into the car.
  • Make it your habit to always start your car and drive away immediately. I have seen so many people just sit in their car with unlocked doors, fiddling around, making calls, whatever. You are an easy target sitting there. So, after you get in your car, get moving!
  • Teach and practice with your children to enter and exit the car quickly.
  • In the city, always drive with your car doors locked and windows rolled up.
  • When stopped in traffic, leave enough room to maneuver and escape, if necessary.
  • If you are bumped in traffic by young males, be suspicious of the “accident.” Don’t get out of your car. Instead, wave or signal the car that bumped you to follow your car. Drive to a gas station or a busy place, and then get out of your car.
  • If you are ever confronted by an armed carjacker, don’t resist!
    • Give up your keys or money, if demanded, without resistance.
    • Don’t argue, fight or chase the robber. You can be seriously injured.
    • Never agree to be kidnapped. Drop the cars keys, and run and scream for help.
  • If you are kidnapped and forced to drive, consider crashing your car near a busy intersection so bystanders can come to your aid.
  • Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information.

~Steve (4/11/2010)

Report #6: WHEN YOU GO ON VACATION

Or….I swear, honey, I was not staring at that girl in the thong

One of the times your home is most vulnerable is when it is left empty for an extended period of time. Darkened windows, mail, newspapers piled up in the driveway, and closed windows in warm weather all advertise your absence to a potential burglar.

Here are some tips to secure your home while you’re away:

  • The best protection for your home during your absence is to have a house sitter. A friend or relative you trust staying at your house can take care of your pets and/or plants in addition to making sure the house is inhabited.
  • If you don’t have a house sitter, stop your mail and any newspaper or other delivery. Nothing announces an empty home better than a stack of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. Ask a nearby neighbor to pick up any packages delivered while you’re gone.
  • Have a neighbor check on your house/apartment while you’re away — turning on lights, radios or TVs, and opening and closing curtains will give your home the appearance of someone home.
  • If you don’t have someone house sit or check your home while you’re away — perhaps even if you do — you should keep not only lights but a TV or radio on a timer. If you’re like me and have your TV on almost all the time you’re home [NOTE: I don't watch it, it's just background noise], the absence of the sound and that glowing light in the windows announces that you’re not there.
  • Make sure whoever is checking your home while you’re away knows how to work your alarm system and whom to call in case of a problem.
  • If you have a garden or plants on your balcony, make sure someone is watering the plants regularly or put the plants where they can’t be seen. Plants turning yellow and slowly dying due to lack of water also announce your absence.
  • If you rent, check your lease. Many landlords require that you notify them if your apartment is going to be left empty for any period of time. This is so they can enter in case of emergency even if they can’t reach you. If you’ve got a house sitter, this isn’t necessary.

-Steve (2.27.2010)

Report #5: IF/WHEN THINGS GO TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET

Survival tips in a societal breakdown.

Click HERE.

-Steve (2.20.2010)

Report #4: AVOIDING VIOLENT CRIMES

Or let’s not become a statistic!

There are three ways to go through life. Borrowing from Homeland Safety’s color-coded terrorist threat warning system, let’s call them the Three Conditions: Red, Yellow, and….

The first and most critical is Condition Red. It means you are in imminent danger — it’s fight or flight time. I hope you already have a plan to defend yourself. If not, you’re in deep doo doo. But don’t worry as I will, in a later post, discuss some methods of defending you and your love ones. We’ll discuss both lethal and non lethal options. Did you know that many everyday objects can be used as weapons?

The second level is Condition Yellow, which means a heightened sense of awareness. This is the condition you must live your life in. I’m not trying to turn you into a paranoid who’s constantly looking under garbage can covers. But you should at all times have your heads up, aware and alert about your surroundings, with your eyes forward, scanning ahead and around you. Walk with confidence, hands free. If something does not feel right, trust your instincts, they are usually right. Just being alert and confident lets the bad guys know you are not a good target. They will move on and pick on someone else – those in the third condition.

The third is Condition Clueless or Condition DUH!!! Sadly, these are the people who make up crime victim statistics. They walk with their heads down, clueless and oblivious to their surroundings, not noticing the junkie hiding behind the car next to theirs.

So which Condition do you live in? Can you make some improvements so as not to become a statistic? Begin by walking with a confident air and your shoulders squared!

How to Prevent Being Sexually Assaulted:

  1. Use your initials instead of your first name on mail boxes and phone listings.
  2. Avoid being alone in an apartment laundry room or parking garage.
  3. Never admit on the telephone or at the door that you are alone.
  4. It is risky to accept a ride home from someone you have just met, just like your mom told you!
  5. If you decide to resist your attacker, remember that your goal is to incapacitate him long enough to run to safety and get help.
  6. If you are a victim of sexual assault, call the police immediately. Do not bathe or change clothes because you may destroy vital DNA evidence.

How to Avoid Being Robbed:

  1. Do not carry valuable items or large amounts of money.
  2. Always think ahead. For example, when traveling at night, have your keys ready to start your car or enter your house.
  3. If you are confronted by a robber, the best thing to do is to cooperate. If you resist, there is a greater chance that you or a loved one may be hurt or KILLED.
  4. If the robber has a gun, even you have a gun and can get to it without getting you or a loved one killed, give it up. Give everything up. What’s the worst that can happen? The robber uses your credit and ATM cards or steals your car. With the credit cards, you’re not responsible for any charges you didn’t make once you report the theft to the credit card company. As for your car, the robber most likely will abandon it and police will return the car to you. And if your car remains lost, hey, that’s what insurance is for! Remember this: You can replace anything in life except your life or a loved one’s life.

How to Avoid Violent Crimes at Bank ATMs:

  1. When using an automatic bank teller, always be watchful of any suspicious people around you.
  2. The chances of being robbed at night are much greater, especially if you are alone.
  3. If you find someone waiting and watching around an ATM, do not use it. Leave the area and report the incident to the police immediately. You could save someone else from being a victim of crime.

How to be safe in city streets: Use Common Sense!

  1. Stay in well lighted, busy areas.
  2. Avoid walking alone and avoid known trouble spots.
  3. When you carry a purse, hold it close to your body instead of by the handles. Do not wrap purse straps around your wrist because if a robber snatches your purse, you can get hurt in a struggle.
  4. Carry only what you need in a purse or wallet, not everything you have.
  5. Avoid using shortcuts through dark alleys, fields, or vacant lots.
  6. If you think you’re being followed, cross the street and change directions a few times. Go quickly to a well-lighted place with lots of people. Do not go home. You don’t want an attacker to know where you live.

-Steve (1.21.2010)

…………………….

Report #3: AVOIDING CRIMES WHEN PARKING

(or How not to be slapped with a big lawsuit)

This is NOT a safe parking area! LOL

Here are my suggestions for property owners — apartments, condos, offices, shops, malls – on ensuring safety in parking lots and garages:

How to Prevent Theft and Vandalism

  • Wherever possible, provide each dwelling with its own locked garage within the property boundaries. Locked garages outside the boundaries or well-lit and visible common car parks are the next best thing.
  • Where private garages are not feasible, a car-port or driveway parking is preferable to grouped parking away from dwellings.
  • As a general rule, underground or multi-story car parks should be avoided, as they are breeding grounds for vandalism and crime. If they already exist, danger could be minimized by limiting entry points and providing them with sturdy locked gates. Alternatively, each resident could be provided with a lockable garage in their own space, with robust, vandal-proof metal doors — garages within garages, so to speak. Alternately, users can be provided with a secure lock or a plastic key card that operates electronic doors.
  • Grouped car parks should be avoided in high-crime areas. If they cannot be avoided, they should be within view of some dwellings; they should be equipped with sturdy gates or tilt doors, and should never be sited near alleyways.
  • Open car parks should be small and within view of dwellings and visitors’ car parks should be clearly identifiable, well lit, and visible from dwellings.

How to Prevent Rape, Assault, Robbery

  • To make car parks safer, planners should provide direct access from parking areas to the entrance of dwellings.
  • Car parks should be no further than 197 ft (60 meters) from dwellings, and the path should be well lit and free from shrubbery.
  • Visitors’ car parks should be well lit, clearly identifiable, and visible from dwellings.
  • Access to enclosed car parks should be limited to residents by some form of electronic entry control device if possible.
  • If it is desirable to limit access to dwellings, make sure access via car parks is monitored as well.
  • In high-crime areas, advanced technological surveillance methods may be needed in car parks. For example, an infrared unit is available which detects the presence of intruders – but not cats and dogs – by body heat, and automatically switches on all lights in the car park and turns them off after 15 to 20 minutes.

~Steve (1.9.2010)

……………………………

Report #2: PROTECTING YOUR CHILD

Children are our most valuable resource. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we take positive measures to insure their safety and prevent them from becoming victims of crime.

Parents, you must never leave your children alone! — not at home, in a vehicle, at play, or anywhere. Here are some tips to ensure their safety:

  • Define what a STRANGER is. Let your kids know that just because they see someone everyday (mailman, paperboy, neighbor, etc.), it does not mean these people are not strangers.
  • Teach your children their full name, your name, full address, and phone number, including area codes. Teach them how to use a phone.
  • Teach your children the “What if…?” game, making up different dangerous situations that they might encounter and helping them play out what they would do in that situation.
  • Take the time to talk to your children and be alert to any noticeable changes in their behavior or attitude toward an adult or teenager; it may be a sign of sexual abuse.
  • Set up a password, e.g., “Jellybean,” that only you and your child know.
  • Set up a notification procedure with your child’s school or day care center if your child does not show up on time.
  • Inform your child’s school or day care center who other than yourself can pick up your child. The school should not release your kid to just anyone who shows up claiming to be a relative or close friend, and saying that you had asked them to pick up your child because you’re running late or some such BS. Now if it’s a legitimate emergency and you had asked your friend or neighbor to help out, they will give the correct answer when your child asks them for the password. If they don’t no the password, your child will know to run to the nearest adult for help. True story: I once asked my next door neighbor, a lady who is like an aunt to my son, to pick him up at the bus stop, but I forgot to give her the password! Sheesh, my son grilled her for ten minutes, then asked for her cell phone to call me to confirm. Smart kid, eh? Statistics show child abductions, more often then not, are committed by a family member or a known acquaintance.
  • Teach your children that their body is private and no one has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. If anyone touches them in a wrong way, they should firmly say “NO!,” run away, and tell someone they trust.
  • YOUR KID MUST NEVER EVER GET INTO A CAR WITH A STRANGER. You must drill this point into your kid’s head. I don’t care if it means ripping his or her arm off and beating them over the head till they understand how important this point is. OK, just kidding about ripping limbs off, but you get my drift. You must drill that into their mushy little still developing “I Know Everything” little Einstein brains. Tell them these Degenerate Scumbag Lowlife Sacks of Human Excrement will offer candy, ask for their help to find a lost kitty or puppy. Drill it in your kid’s head that, no matter what the stranger says, your kid must turn the other way and scream at the top of their lungs “Fire!” Screaming “Help!” is useless because nobody wants to get involved. But it’s been proven that when you scream “Fire!,” people will pay attention. Your kid should fast in the opposite direction and make as much noise as possible. These low-life degenerates do not want to be caught and will not chase after the kid. They will just wait and hunt another day, but your child would have escaped.
  • Here is a tricky thing to teach your children and it will be scary….. I taught my son that even if the low-life scumbag has a GUN, he should still run as fast as he can. Do not be afraid of the gun. The pervert is a coward and the last thing he wants to do is to get caught. He will not shoot!!!!! because that would only draw attention to himself.

I know you think it’s always some other kid on the milk carton, and nobody wants to have this conversation with their child. But you must. If you love them, you must prepare and protect them. FBI statistics on the chances of a safe return of a child that has been abducted are not good. So, the thing to do is to make sure your child will NEVER be a victim!

One last thing: This is difficult to teach your child, especially if he or she is very young. But if you start now, it will get easier with time. Teach your children to be aware of their surroundings. Lift their heads up from playing DS or some other gadget. (Yeah, right, good luck with that!) Teach them to notice if a car is slowing down, or if someone is following them. TEACH THEM TO LISTEN TO THEIR INNER VOICE AND TO TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS.

Oh well, I did say that this last part would be tough. LOL

~Steve (1/1/2010)

 …………………………………….        

Report #1: ATM SECURITY

(or as my Son calls it, the magic wall that gives you money)

ATM cash machines have been incorporated in our way of life. They offer a real convenience to those on the run but at the same time offer an element of risk. Using an ATM machine safely requires awareness and a little planning. Just because an ATM machine is open and available 24-hours a day doesn’t mean it is safe to use it. Most ATM robberies occur at night between 8:00 PM and midnight. ATM robbers are usually males under 25 years of age and most work alone. ATM robbers usually position themselves nearby waiting for a victim to approach and withdraw cash. Most ATM robbery victims are women and were alone when robbed. Most claim that they never saw the robber coming. Most ATM robbers used a gun or claimed to have a concealed weapon when confronting the victim and demanding their cash.

If you or your family members use ATM cash machines on a regular basis, here are some tips that can make the process a little safer:

  • Use only ATM machines in well-lighted, high-traffic areas. If lights around the ATM are not working, don’t use that machine. Choose an ATM that looks and ‘feels’ safer, even if it is a couple of miles out of the way. Don’t use ATM machines that are remote or hidden such as being located behind buildings, behind pillars, walls, or away from public view. Beware of obvious hiding places like shrubbery or overgrown trees. ATM robbers like to have the element of surprise and no witnesses. Robbers like good escape routes like nearby freeway on-ramps or high speed thoroughfares.
  • Try and limit your use to daylight hours. Take someone with you after hours, if you can.
  • When you drive up to an ATM location, scan the area for any suspicious persons. If you see anyone suspicious standing nearby or sitting in a car, drive away.
  • When you approach an ATM on foot be prepared and have your access card ready.
  • Memorize your personal PIN number to prevent loss and speed the transaction. After inserting your card and your PIN number keep an eye out behind you.
  • Beware of offers for help from strangers during an ATM transaction. Never accept an offer to help or request for help from a suspicious male ahead of you at the machine. If anyone suspicious or seemingly dangerous approaches terminate your transaction and leave immediately, even if it means running away and leaving your ATM card in the machine. First, tell the suspicious male in a loud, firm voice to “back-off” and leave you alone. This is designed to startle the person and give you time to flee, if appropriate.
  • Don’t use any ATM that appears to have been modified in any way (especially if the card intake slot seems to have a sleeve or wire); and especially beware of any ATM that has a brochure case near the keypad. These may be devices capable of detecting your PIN as you enter it.
  • If a helpful stranger returns your card, be aware that it might have been cloned and your PIN compromised. The card can be cloned using the same technology that makes and remakes hotel room key cards. The card plus the PIN is all a crook needs to loot your account when you are traveling and unable to check what’s going on.  Returning it is a ploy to lull you while the account is being looted.
  • After you’ve received cash from the machine, don’t count your money in public. Put it away immediately, extract your card, and leave.
  • If you use your car at a drive-thru ATM machine the same rules apply. First make sure your doors are locked, this goes for any time you are driving. Keep the car in gear, with your foot firmly on the brake, while using the ATM machine. Keep a close eye on your rear and side view mirrors during the transaction. Robbers almost always approach from the rear on the drivers side. If you see anyone approaching, drive off even if it means leaving your ATM card behind.
  • If you are confronted by an armed robber, just give up your money without argument. This can not be stressed enough! Don’t fight with or attempt to follow the robber. You can replace everything in life, except life itself. The cash is not worth serious injury or death. Get to a safe place and call the police immediately.

~Steve (12/26/09)

UPDATE (1/17/2010):

  • When using your debit card at the gas pump, hit the “Credit” button instead of “Debit”. It’s the same as Debit, but there’s no chance of your PIN being stolen if the pump has been rigged with a card reader.
  • Try to avoid using ATMs in convenience stores because you have a much greater chance of having your PIN stolen by a rigged card reader. Instead, use either your bank’s ATM or a big retailer like Wal-Mart or Target to get cash back.
  • And lastly, monitor your account online, periodically and regularly. Don’t wait for your monthly statement.  Most banks and credit card companies can only hold you responsible for unauthorized charges of up to $50.00 if you report within 48 hrs of discovering the unauthorized charge. If you wait until after 60 days of noticing the theft and then report it, you can be held liable for the whole shebang. You’ll be wiped out. Everything gone. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Got it?

So keep an eye on your accounts, before someone else does!

~Steve

2 responses to “Health, Finance & Security Tips

  1. I’ve added a new Page to FOTM’s frontpage. Check it out! :D

  2. Interesting thought Eowyn. I thought about this sometimes but I could never put my thought in concrete works. I read the full post and specially liked the part “Top 100 items to disappear first during a National Emergency”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s