Public warned of festive season crimes

The police have warned the public to be extra vigilant as the festive season approaches, as criminals will be out to rob people of their cash and possessions.

At a Goodwood sectors 1 and 3 neighbourhood watch meeting on Monday November 14, Colonel Hennie Rademeyer, from Goodwood SAPS, spoke of an incident the week before when a man was followed from a bank at N1 City Mall and robbed of R40 000 he had just withdrawn.

Colonel Rademeyer said video footage showed two men in the bank watching the man. One man left, while another kept an eye on their victim. It is suspected a third man was involved, possibly waiting in a car, and that they then followed their victim in a Polo and a Datsun bakkie. They cornered him later at a local school where he went to pick up his children, asking “Where’s the money? Where’s the money?” said Colonel Rademeyer.

“If you have to withdraw that kind of money, call your security company, call the police to escort you,” he said.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) also sounded a warning to bank clients with the launch of its Safe Banking Campaign on Tuesday November 15.

Sabric said that at this time of the year, fraudsters pounced as consumers got bonuses and spent more money. There is also an increase in online banking and card transactions, Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay said.

“PIN numbers are easily acquired by shoulder surfing, which enables a stolen card to be utilised,” Sabric said.

“By covering the PIN when punching the numbers, bank clients will be able to mitigate their risk. Bank clients are urged not to accept any assistance or allow anybody to interrupt or interfere with them at ATMs ,” Ms Pillay said.

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