WATCH: Financial safety tips for the holidays

Cape Town - South Africans who have worked hard all year to take some time off over the December and January period should be aware of the heightened holiday season risks of falling prey to criminals.

Adeeb Abrahams, branch manager at Albaraka Bank in Athlone, says that as much as people are looking forward some relaxation, “perpetrators are also devising certain plans and mechanisms to access [your] hard-earned cash”.

With many people travelling around the country, he urged South Africans to be especially vigilant around ATM’s. 

“Though banks give advice on how to protect our cards and how to approach ATM’s, because it’s festive season, it’s up to us to be vigilant in the way in which we transact,” he said. “Make sure that you are alone, avoid being distracted and make sure that there are no persons lurking around.” 

Draw cash at retailers 

Abrahams noted that many SA banks now give customers the choice to withdraw cash at retailers. “The costs on these type of transactions are minimal, you are not isolated and it gives you peace of mind,” he said. 

He said that holidaymakers travelling overseas should not only be aware of exchange rates and keeping their money safe, but also make sure to not rack up debt. 

“When one travels overseas, it should be planned. You shouldn’t decide to go and travel and take out an overdraft or a loan. You are looking for trouble if you are going to do that,” said Abrahams. 

Planning is key

“One must be aware that there are some tough times ahead. A holiday must not impact on your disposable household income. Do not take out loans for a holiday," he said. "If you can’t afford it, then you simply can’t. We need to start being disciplined about our finances. We will enjoy our lives more when we do so.”


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