Beware of opportunists this festive season


On the eve of the festive season, the police in the Free State are urging community members to always be vigilant.
The police said in a statement this week that community members must keep an eye out for criminals as they are also making plans on how to gain access to people’s hard earned savings.
“As this is the festive season, stokvel groups are looking forward to spending their savings in different ways. But we are pleading to societies and stokvels not to withdraw large sums of money as criminals pray on unsuspecting victims after they withdrew money from the banks. Rather arrange with the bank to electronically transfer cash in the members’ bank accounts.
“We are trying to avoid robberies and thefts that may occur once the money is withdrawn and stored at home for distribution. Armed suspects recently entered into the home of one committee member and robbed her of all the society savings as she was busy preparing it to be distributed the following day,” said the police.
They also also warned people to be vigilant at ATM’s. “Always cover your hand when punching your pin into the machine. Examine the ATM machine before use as we have learned previously that criminals install devices that take videos of pin numbers on the machines. Never allow anyone to help you or distract you after you have entered your card, as this is the method used by card swopping criminals. Always seek for help from a bank employee allocated to help ATM users.”
Provincial commissioner Lt Gen Moeketsi Sempe said police in the Free State will be out and about in all malls and shopping centres in the province to ensure that community members spend their Christmas savings in peace.
If you suspect or see any unlawful act, shout for help or contact the nearest police station.