While at home

– Keep doors and security gates locked at all times.
– Keep your garden well lit and vegetation trimmed.
– If you are going on holiday, cancel all your newspaper and magazine deliveries.
– Try to install a timer to switch your lights on and off while you are away.
– Find someone to house-sit.
– Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home and do the same for them when they are away.
– Insist all government officials who need access to your property produce identity cards, even if they are in uniform.

In an Emergency
– Do not panic. Think laterally. Talk your way out of the situation.
– Do not resist unless you are absolutely sure it will lead to your escape.
– If your instincts are to physically resist- do not hold back.
– If circumstances dictate that you must not resist, concentrate on noting physical description of your attacker.
– In a robbery or hijacking , do as you are told. Do not argue or challenge your attacker and avoid eye contact. Keep your hands still and visible. If you need to undo a seatbelt, ask first. Remember you can replace your valuables or a vehicle, but not your life.

ATM & Cheques
– Take stock of all activity around you before beginning a transaction.
– Take a friend along, especially at night.
– Have your card at the ready when you approach the machine.
– If you become suspicious about people or events around you, stop the ATM transaction immediately.
– If the ATM is poorly lit, find another machine.
– Stand close to the ATM, especially when keying in your PIN number.
– Never give your PIN number to anyone – not even a bank official. You do not know who the criminal is.
– Do not count your cash at the machine – wait until you are in a safe place.

When Receiving Cheques
– Many bank customers still fall prey to cheque and deposit fraud. Galia Durbach, the chief executive of First National Bank’s Core Banking Solutions, says criminals frequently try to defraud people who are selling goods by arranging to pay with a cheque or a direct deposit.
– Bear in mind that fraudsters frequently prey on individuals who sell goods through advertising. Here are some tips:
– Never release goods until you are certain that the payment is received.
– Always wait for the function to be cleared before releasing goods.
– Never accept a faxed bankslip as proof of payment.
– If it is a cash deposit, have bank verify that it is indeed a deposit and not a cheque deposit.

Safe on the Street
– Whenever possible, do not walk alone.
– Never walk in deserted or dark areas.
– When going out, leave all your valuables at home.
– Never carry more money than you need.
– Carry your bag close to your body.
– Keep your change in your purse or wallet, and credit cards and notes in an inside pocket – never in the back pocket of your trousers.
– Don’t be fooled by tricksters or strangers offering you the chance of making extra money.
– If you are robbed, be co-operative and calm.
– When using an elevator, always examine who is inside before entering. Always stand close to the panel and press the alarm button if anything seems suspicious.
– Criminals know when pensions are due. Rather arrange for your pension to be directly deposited into your bank or building society account.
– Ask for help if you are in danger and always wait for the help to arrive.
– Keep a list of emergency numbers with you at all times, so that you have them available in case of emergency.
– Be alert at all times, a criminal might be lurking around the corner.

General Tips
– Do not attract unwanted attention by openly displaying cash, expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables.
– Carry your wallet, credit cards, passport and other travel documents in your inside or front pockets.
– Avoid carrying large sums of money, particularly foreign currency.
– Avoid strange, dark, poorly lit or isolated places.
– Avoid travelling and exploring on your own.
– Plan your travel routes beforehand.
– Practise safe sex.
– Carry certified copies of your passport, ID and travel documents.
– Tag your luggage and belongings for easy identification and contact procedures.

While Shopping
– Never leave your bag or purse in your trolley, however well hidden by goods.
– Never leave your bag or wallet unattended on a shop counter – not even momentarily. Remember, that is when thieves pounce.
– Beware of pickpockets and never keep your wallet in your back pocket.
– Hold your bag tightly.

When out and about
– Be aware of your surroundings.
– Do not carry large amounts of money or wear extravagant jewellery.
– Always carry your bag or luggage in such as way that it is not easy to snatch.
– If something or someone makes you uneasy, leave the scene immediately.
– Watch out for people milling around you, that could be a sign you are about to be robbed.
– Stay alert. Do not sleep as you travel in taxis or buses.
– When you are using public toilets, always lock the door.
– If you are in trouble, do not be afraid to scream for help.

– Do not stop and talk to strangers.
– Do not let others see you with large amounts of money or valuable items.
– Keep away from strangers who offer to double the amount of the money you have.
– Do not allow yourself to be drawn to false competitions in the streets.
– Ignore every promise made by these people because they are robbers.
– Wearing too much valuable jewellery can tempt thieves.
– Pensioners should not withdraw their pensions alone.

In your Vehicle
– Follow the applicable general tips.
– Your personal safety in a vehicle is strongly dependent on you.
– Plan your route in advance.
– Keep route maps in your vehicle.
– Ensure that you have sufficient fuel and that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.
– Fasten your seatbelt, lock your doors and never leave your windows open more than 5cm.
– Avoid displaying valuables openly in the vehicle. Lock such items in the boot of the vehicle.
– Be alert at traffic lights and stop streets. Leave enough space in case you have to manouevre out in an emergency.
– If you are bumped softly from behind and you feel uncomfortable with the individuals involved, proceed to the nearest police station.
– Never pick up strangers.
– Never entertain the advance of street beggars and sex workers.
– It is illegal to use your cellphone while driving – use a “hands-free kit”.
– At night park in well-lit areas. When returning to your vehicle have your keys ready to unlock the car.
– If you are lost or concerned about your safety, phone 10 111, 082 9111 or 112 from your cellphone. (All 24 – hour numbers).

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