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. Regrettably, this is also the time in which criminals are often most active as well. According to SAPS, there are two types of crime which remain prevalent. In the first type, victims are followed out of banks after a cash withdrawal has been made. In some cases, victims are followed after withdrawing money at ATMs to their residence, place of work, vehicle, or any other place where it is easy to rob them. Secondly, it is apparent that 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 large amounts of cash.Resident Savi Moodley expressed her concern about the issue, saying: “I worry about carrying cash with me, especially after seeing so much social media camera footage of people getting robbed. “Bags are being picked anytime, anywhere regardless of time and place. The perpetrators and victims surpass colour, gender, or age. Why make it easy for the common crook and give them access tor ready cash? Doing transactions via card or electronic means is far safer and in certain instances you are rewarded by some institutions. So it’s a win-win.”Take note of some tips that could help you stay safe this season• Carry as little cash as possible.• Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically or consider making use of cell phone banking, 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. • Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue and 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.• 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 or consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.Tips for stokvel Groups• 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.