Holiday Shopping Safety

Holiday Shopping Safety

Holiday shopping is part of the excitement and pleasure of the holiday season. Don’t let criminals steal the joy of this festive season tradition. Here are some tips to ensure a happy and safe shopping experience:

• Be alert and aware! It’s easy to be distracted by the crowds, selecting the right gift or being preoccupied with holiday activities. Maintain confident body language so that criminals pass you over for a “softer” target.
• Keep shopping bags, valuables, purses and wallets close to you. Keep purses or bags closed. The more expensive an item, the closer to your body it should be. Don’t leave your handbag in the shopping trolley while you shop.
• Limit the number of shopping bags you are carrying, so that you can keep track of everything. Combine your purchases into one or two large shopping bags.
• Supervise children at all times. If you feel you will be distracted from supervising them while shopping, arrange for a babysitter.
• Recognise that there is safety in numbers. Shop with friends and relatives instead of going alone. Each of you can look out for each other.
• Place any valuables in the boot of your car before you go shopping. Criminals are in the parking lots watching what you put in your car.
• Do not be distracted when walking to your vehicle (talking on phone, texting, etc.) and watch out for loiterers near your vehicle. Have an employee walk you to your car if you feel uncomfortable.
• Park in a well-lit, well-trafficked area of the parking lot at stores and malls. Avoid secluded and
dark areas, as confrontations won’t be seen and screams for help won’t be heard. Be aware of remote jamming, double check that your car is locked before walking off.
• Have your keys in your free hand well before approaching the car. It will save time in getting into the car, and the keys can be used as an improvised weapon if necessary. Lock the door immediately after getting in.
• Watch out for friendly strangers. They may ask a question or offer to assist you with your bags to distract you or put you in a compromising situation.
• When shopping online, make sure you are dealing with a reputable online store. On checkout, before entering your payment information, make sure the page is encrypted and secure. Keep your anti-virus, anti-phishing software up to date.
• After opening gifts, don’t advertise to criminals of your big-ticket item with your trash. Tear down and cut up product boxes into small pieces to fit into garbage and recycling bins.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Cash Safety Tips

It is almost that time of the year where members of the community are looking forward to the festive season and spending their hard-earned money with their loved ones. Regrettably, this is also the time in which criminal elements will attempt to continue with their evil plans, including committing crimes such as robberies.

As a precautionary measure, members of the community, particularly those who have been saving money through Stokvel groupings or societies to avoid carrying a lot of cash.

Two crime types remain prevalent; firstly, victims are followed out of banks after a cash withdrawal has been made. In some of the incidences, consumers are followed after withdrawing money at an ATMs to their residences, places of work, vehicles or any other place where it is easy to rob them.

It is apparent that secondly in the case of bank branches, “spotters” still operate and communicate the victims’ description to accomplices, who wait outside the bank. Small business owners are also at risk, particularly when drawing cash to pay weekly wages.

In most robberies, robbers are armed and will resort to violence if the victim resists. These kinds of robberies are not limited to urban areas, but also occur in rural communities. There are safer ways to do transactions, such as internet transfers or mobile banking, instead of carrying substantial amounts of cash.

Members of the community are urged to protect themselves and reduce the risk of becoming victims by applying the tips below:
• Carry as little cash as possible.
• Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available options).
• Consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.
• Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.
• Vary the days and times on which you deposit cash.
• Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.
• Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue.
• Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.
• It is advisable to identify another branch nearby that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected.
• If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.
• Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public; instead, make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.
• Consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.

Tips for Stokvel Groupings:
• Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high-risk days (e.g. Monday after month end).
• Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member.
• A Stokvel savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions.
• Arrange for the club’s pay-out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.
• Take another person with when going to deposit club cash contributions.

Source: SAPS

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Domestic Safety

Safety tips for domestic workers

It is important that domestic workers are alert at all times.

• When alone at home cleaning or working, make sure that all doors and windows are closed and locked.
• Do not allow anyone onto the property before confirming with the homeowner that they are expected, for example electricians, meter readers, Telkom technicians, etc.
• Do not go out to the gate when someone is on the intercom or calling, rather talk over the intercom or through a window from inside the house.
• Be careful when putting out or fetching rubbish bins. Look around for any suspicious people and close and lock the gate immediately.
• Be careful when hanging up or bringing in washing, as suspects can jump over the wall and attack you. Be quick when you are outside and go back into the house, LOCKING the door behind you.
• Do not leave keys in doors or security gates.
• If there is a panic button, carry it at all times, preferably where it is not visible.
• Make sure you always know an emergency number and the address where you are in case of an emergency.
• Do not trust anyone and do not give out any information about the property or your employers.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

24/7 Security Services - The 5 Minute Rule

5 Minute Rule

Follow-me-home types of robberies are an ongoing concern. Please keep the following top of mind when approaching your destination:

Five minutes from home:
• Transform into an alert state and become aware of your surroundings
• Get off your cell phone
• Turn down car radio/music
• Open the front drivers and passenger window to about 3cm from the top
• Start listening to all external sounds and be alert to any abnormal noises
• Use all three mirrors – left-hand side mirror, right-hand side mirror and rear-view mirror
• Become alert to what vehicles or people are around your vehicle
• Ask any kids to quieten and calm down
• Request any adult passengers to assist with observation
• Slow down
• Keep the vehicle in the direction of the road, parallel to the point of entry

Be alert to the following:
• Suspicious people
• Suspicious vehicles
• Suspicious activity
• Suspicious objects

Indicators not to enter your place of entry:
• Unknown people loitering around
• Unknown vehicle/s parked in the road
• Security officer does not give the all clear signal
• Unusual activity – emergency vehicles, responders etc.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237