Tunisia ATM security

During the Tunisian revolution it was obvious that ATMs were targeted by various groups rangaging from low end criminals to more organized and professionals ones.  On the part of the perpetrator the logic is simple:  ATM=Easy Cash.  In fact, according to one European based study , ATM crimes have risen by over 149%.  The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), reports that “Annual losses due to ATM crime in Europe are approaching 500 million euros” (ENISA,2010).

Although there are no verifiable statistics that shed light on ATM crimes in Tunisia; we can with a fair amount of certainty say that after January 14, 2011; ATM crimes have risen significantly.  ATM crimes range from your basics street mugging to more sophisticated technical techniques such as card skimming.  Card skimming “involves making a copy of the information encoded on the magnetic stripe of the card” (Russell, 2010).

In Tunisia ATMs are widely available and almost all ATMs will accept Visa cards.  Additionally, most ATMs meet appropriate security specifications such as being placed in areas that provide good lighting and visibility.

When using an ATM the following precaution tips will come in handy:

1. Selection:   Choose an ATM at a location  with minimum barriers preventing the line of sight.  If it doesn’t look safe; don’t use it…listen to your first instinct.

2.  Situational Awareness:  Scan your surrounding area for any suspicious signs before using the ATM.

3.  Transaction Completion:  After you have completed your transaction scan your surrounding area once again and look for any signs of trouble.  If you suspect a negative action is about to take place, calmly and quickly leave the area.

Lastly, unless you are really comfortable and knowledgeable in physical combat, remember the following tip: “If confronted by an assailant, give up what they demand. Do not resist, property may be recovered later or replaced” (Crime Tip Prevention).


ENISA,2010.  Retrieved from, http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/An-alarming-increase-in-ATM-crime-743283.html

Russell, D.  2010.  ATM Skimming Device.  Retrieved from, http://EzineArticles.com/2637689

Crime Tip Prevention.  Retrived from, http://www.elkgrovepd.org/prevention/atm-safety.asp

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