Just as everyday South Africans know a few clever tricks to complete our daily tasks – whether it’s preparing for a meeting or cooking a meal – criminals also have a few tricks of their own.
This is according to Linda Reeder, Fidelity ADT community development manager, who said its important that family members and employees take a few moments to familiarise themselves with these new crime trends – as well as the correct procedures to follow when they occur.
“Take time now to check that you have all the correct up-to-date numbers you need for an emergency, and if your children are old enough for cell phones, make sure they have the emergency numbers as well. They should be kept visibly on the fridge or somewhere centrally,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we cannot always take things at face value and it is far better to be cautious and check out credentials and signs than be left in a dangerous or compromising situation. Most importantly never ignore your sixth sense.”
Reeder provided a list of some ‘tricks’ currently being used by criminals when targeting homes in South Africa, and what to do in these situations.
Shouting for help
Reeder said that you shouldn’t leave your home when someone shouts for help or rings your bell to say that they have been hurt. Instead, residents should immediately phone the police, your security company and/or your local Community Policing Forum to alert them of the incident.
Another common tactic to be aware of is opening the door for unannounced people that are selling something, service providers and/or job seekers, said Reeder.
“They could be impersonators and its important to always ensure a formal appointment has been made,” she said.
Sudden electricity disconnection
Reeder said that you should not go outside onto the pavement to check your electricity box in the event that the electricity suddenly goes off. Instead, she said it is important to determine if there is an area power outage – and if this not the case, it may be safer to contact an outside contractor.
Reeder also said that it is important to stay alert and have a plan of action in case of an emergency during a power outage. This includes keeping your panic button close, she said.
As is the case with the above scenarios, Reeder said it is important not to leave your home when a tap is running outside for no reason, as this could be a ploy to entice you to come outside and in doing so open up your home.
Instead she said that you should contact your local security provider who can check the premises for you.
Don’t use your cellphone when leaving/arriving at home
Reeder said that you should put down your cellphone when approaching or leaving your home. Owners, residents and guests should always be on high alert in these situations in the case that someone is following you.
“Criminals generally don’t just come out of nowhere,” she said.