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Police warn NC residents to be vigilant at ATMs

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The SAPS in the Northern Cape has cautioned residents to be vigilant and alert when using ATMs during the festive season.

File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA) 

THE SOUTH African Police Service in the Northern Cape has cautioned residents to be vigilant and alert when utilising ATMs during the festive season, in both secluded and crowded areas.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Mashay Gamieldien said there was usually an increase in the number of robbery cases reported at ATMs or in the vicinity of banks around this time of the year.

“In order to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, make sure that you have your bank card out before you get to the ATM. If you observe suspicious persons while approaching the ATM, do not use the machine,” said Gamieldien.

“Be alert and vigilant of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Always cover your PIN by shielding the hand typing in the PIN, even if you are alone.

“Never accept or request assistance, rather go inside the bank for help.

“Do not withdraw large amounts of cash. After withdrawing your money, secure it and do not walk with the cash in the open.”

Gamieldien encouraged residents to avoid using ATMs in dark and secluded areas, where there were no security guards.

“If possible, have someone accompany you, especially if you are an elderly person. It is advisable to withdraw cash at supermarkets such as Spar, Pick n Pay or Shoprite as it minimises the risk of becoming a target.”

Gamieldien urged anyone who became involved in a confrontation with an assailant to comply with their demands.

“Do not argue or fight with the suspect. Note the description of the robber and hand over the money.

“If possible carry as little cash as possible and use alternative banking methods such as internet banking or cellphone banking.

“The SAPS will tighten its grip on all criminal activities during the festive season and will be adopting a zero-tolerance approach,” Gamieldien concluded.

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