Be Careful! Criminals are Targeting Your Stokvel Payout This Festive Season

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), on behalf of the banking industry would like to warn members of stokvel social clubs to be extra cautious. A recent spate of armed robberies took place across the country after stokvel money was withdrawn for distribution.

Kalyani Pillay, CEO of SABRIC says, “It is very distressing that bank clients, who are the victims of stokvel robberies are often injured or even killed during these incidents, which is why we urge them to find safer ways to transact, such as internet transfers or mobile banking, instead of carrying large amounts of cash.”

According to incidents reported to SABRIC between 2014 and 15 December 2017, 53 stokvel robbery incidents were reported, with 77% of incidents occurring during the festive season. Criminals are more likely to target members as the festive season approaches, as they know that they are being paid out for the holidays. In addition, criminals also know that people are winding down, and may not be as careful when carrying large amounts of cash.

Kalyani urges bank clients to be vigilant about paying attention to their surroundings at this time, and has the following tips to ensure that clients can protect themselves and their cash.

TIPS FOR STOKVEL GROUPINGS

  • Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high-risk days (e.g. Monday after month end).
  • Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member.
  • A stokvel savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions.
  • Arrange for the club’s pay out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.
  • Take another person with when going to deposit club cash contributions.

TIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS

  • Carry as little cash as possible.
  • Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available options).
  • Consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.
  • Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.

TIPS FOR BUSINESSES

  • Vary the days and times on which you deposit cash.
  • Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.
  • Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue.
  • Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.
  • It is advisable to identify another branch nearby you that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected.
  • If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.
  • Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public; rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.
  • Consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.

To arrange for interviews with SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay, contact:

Media and Communications Manager

Tel: +27 11 847 3134
Cell: 082 070 5349
Email: media@sabric.co.za

Notes to Editors:

SABRIC is a NPF company formed by South African banks to support the banking industry in the combating of crime. SABRIC’s clients are South African banks and major CIT companies. Its principle business is to detect, prevent and reduce organised crime in the banking industry through effective public private partnerships. SABRIC co-ordinates inter-bank activities aimed at addressing organised bank related financial crime, violent crime and cybercrime, and acts as a nodal point between the banking industry and others, in respect of issues relating to these crimes. The creation of public awareness of various bank related crimes and educating the public on how to protect themselves is one of SABRIC’s key focus areas. For more on SABRIC visit www.sabric.co.za