'Be alert when withdrawing cash': Uitenhage police caution public and businesses

JANUARY 12, 2016

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Uitenhage, outside Port Elizabeth, has cautioned individuals and business owners to exercise extra safety measures when drawing or carrying large amounts of cash, after visiting banks  and at ATM’s in their area.

"Incidents where people were followed to their respective homes after drawing cash were recently reported," the police said.

"The community are urged to be vigilant and to be alert of their surroundings when drawing cash.

"Community members and business owners are encouraged to make use of banking facilities, rather than to draw large amounts of cash and carry it around."

Video shows how criminals operate at ATMs - video courtesy of Tribe2Tribes on Youtube. 


The following safety hints are provided as a guideline:

  • Avoid isolated ATMs and using the ATM late at night or very early in the morning.  Try to select an ATM in well-lit, busy areas.
  • If you feel unsafe at an ATM or you are suspicious of individuals loitering in the vicinity of the ATM, trust your instincts, go away and use another ATM.
  • Never write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or carry it anywhere near your ATM card.  Memorise it and keep it a secret.
  • Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM.
  • Take your time while doing your transaction.  Don’t be distracted, intimidated, or hurried into your transaction.  
  • Never let a stranger touch your card.  He/She may have already seen your PIN and is trying to switch your card. 
  • It is advisable not to insert your card until instructed to do so by the display screen.
  • Never force your card into the card slot.
  • Be sure no-one is looking over your shoulder when you key in your PIN.
  • Cancel your card if the machine retains it by calling the card stop number.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering his or her help.  Don’t move away from the machine before you have called the card stop number and make a note of the reference provided by the bank.
  • Ensure that your own card is returned after the transaction.
  • Don’t count your cash in front of the ATM or while walking or sitting in an unlocked vehicle as you may be followed from an ATM.
  • Be watchful of people following you after you have drawn your money (on foot or vehicle). 
  • If you suspect that you are being followed, get yourself to the nearest police station.