Stanbic advises holiday makers

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

On Monday and Tuesday 21 and 22 July 2014, the people of Botswana will be celebrating the President’s holidays. As Batswana set out to enjoy the long weekend in celebration of President’s Day, the government public relations office and the police are warning travellers against dangerous driving habits and drinking whilst behind the wheel. However, the corporate world has also joined in giving tips on the travellers. These include the Motor vehicle accident fund (MVA) and other concerned entities, banks included.

In this regard, Stanbic Bank Botswana statement said the bank “wishes everyone a safe and joyous long weekend. Whether you remain in town or you will be travelling, remember that it is important not to let your guard down when it comes to your financial security.”

As a way of helping the clients, Stanbic Bank shares the following tips to ensure all customers and banking users arm themselves against fraudsters to trick unsuspecting members of the public;

  • Destroy personal financial information by tearing, shredding or burning personal and financial information before throwing it away.
  • Store personal and financial documentation safely.
  • Make it difficult for strangers to access your personal or financial information.
  • Don’t carry unnecessary information in your wallet or purse.
  • Ensure that you get your own card back after every purchase.
  • Report lost and stolen cards immediately.
  • Never let the debit/credit card out of your sight.
  • Approach an ATM only under the right conditions and, for your own security, be alert and conscious of your surroundings.
  • Choose a familiar and well-lit ATM where you are more visible and safe.
  • Scan the area for suspicious looking characters before you approach   an ATM.
  • If you think the ATM is faulty cancel the transaction IMMEDIATELY, report the fault to your bank and try another ATM to transact.
  • Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM to avoid opening your purse, bag or wallet while in the queue.
  • Be cautious of strangers offering to help as they could be trying to distract you in order to get your card or PIN details.
  • Don’t approach security guards for assistance whilst doing banking transactions.
  • Never force your card into the slot as it might have been tampered with.
  • Do not use ATMs where the card slot, key pad or screen has been tampered with –it could be an attempt to get hold of your card.
  • Memorise your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone, not even your spouse or a bank official.
  • Don’t let anyone stand too close to you whilst at the ATM in order to keep both your card and PIN safe.
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN to ensure that no one can see it.
  • Some fraudsters wait until you’ve drawn your cash to take advantage, be wary of people loitering around at the ATM.
  • Don’t unnecessarily carry a lot of cash around as this can prove tempting to thieves.

Many Batswana recently have fallen victim to cunning conmen and lost thousands of cash. Recently, some tourists from Germany and two Aljazeera journalists lost valuables that included cameras and vehicles to thieves.  The people will be back to work on the 23 of July 2014. 

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