Tips to avoid falling victim to cash robberies

By admin
29 July 2014

We all know the feeling of having to divide our attention between keeping an eye on our kids and drawing money, settling an account or handling a large amount of cash. The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) says it’s concerned about the increase in cash robberies over the past six months, many leading to fatalities, and gives its top tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Sabric, on behalf of the banking industry, has now launched a campaign aimed at warning people about this crime. According to Sabric, the common modus operandi of these criminals is to designate “spotters” that look out for people making large cash withdrawals inside bank branches as this provides them with potential victims. Once a potential victim is identified the spotter passes on the information to the co-perpetrators, who are usually in the vicinity of the bank. The co-perpetrators in turn rob the individual, either at their place of business, at home or en route to their destination.

“These criminals are ruthless in their operation and will not hesitate in taking the lives of those they want to rob. For this reason we caution the public to be aware of this and practise other methods of banking rather than carry large sums of cash,” said Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay.

Tips to avoid being a victim of cash robberies

  • Carry as little cash as possible.
  • If you need to pay accounts, consider options that are lower risk instead of withdrawing large sums of cash.
  • Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available options).
  • Consider making use of cellphone banking and internet transfers to do your banking.

Tips for small businesses

Do you own or work for a small business? Here are some handy tips:

  • Alternate the days and times on which you deposit cash.
  • Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.
  • Don’t openly display the money you’re depositing while you’re standing in the bank queue.
  • Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.
  • It’s advisable to identify another branch nearby you can visit to ensure your banking pattern isn’t easily recognisable or detected.
  • If the amount of cash you’re 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; rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.
  • Refrain from driving to the bank in your company-branded vehicle on a typical “payday”.
  • Consider arranging for electronic transfers or wages to your contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.

Tips for savings clubs and stokvels

Are you a member of a savings club or stokvel? Here are some handy tips:

  • Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high-risk days (for example a 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 payout to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.

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