More South Africans are resorting to online shopping to keep safe and to avoid large groups of people in shopping centres and malls.
This move to online shopping and home deliveries has become even more popular since the pandemic started in 2020.
“Unfortunately criminals are aware of this and courier vans have been targeted.
There are two types of modus operandi; either the criminals pretend to be delivering goods and then rob unsuspecting residents or they target courier vans making legitimate deliveries,” says Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications at Fidelity ADT.
“It is important to be vigilant when accepting deliveries. If you are expecting deliveries please be aware of your surroundings, limit the amount of cash you carry – make sure you have the correct amount on you.
Don’t wear expense jewellery and leave your cell phone in the house. We are urging all residents to be careful when receiving goods.”
Hattingh offered the following additional safety tips:
- Do not open the gate, even if you are expecting a delivery. Rather sign for your goods through the gate and be absolutely sure there is no-one around before opening your gate to retrieve your goods
- It is advisable to install a second security measure such as a security gate with an intercom at the front door. This gives you an extra level of defence and possibly a few minutes more to press the panic button if need be
- For your safety and the safety of the driver make sure the area is well lit at night. Carry a torch with you for extra visibility
- Remember the social distancing rules and always wear a mask
- Make sure your children are inside when you accept a delivery for their own safety
- Panic buttons are key, she adds, saying that residents should have easy access to a button if a crisis arises.
“It’s no use if panic buttons are put in a cupboard somewhere and forgotten about.
They need to be easily accessible and we recommend that you have them in a pocket or hanging around your neck for quick access.
Panic buttons should also be checked regularly to ensure they are in good working condition,” concludes Hattingh.