Cautious when Selling Goods On-line
According to the police, there is a
rising new crime trend
of fraud. It seems some
residents who have sold items on
various online platforms (ie Gumtree
and OLX etc) have handed over the
goods, but then never
received any payment for them.
Various tricks are used by buyers to
convince the seller that they have
deposited the cash, but after the
goods have been handed over, the
sellers discover the money
was never deposited into their bank
accounts. It is easy
to falsify a "Proof of Payment"
notification - please make sure any
cash deposits or EFT transfers have
indeed been cleared by
your bank before you
hand over the goods you wish to
Similarly, please check
all references of
people who quote you for work (renovations,
building work etc)
before handing over a deposit. There
are also an increasing number of
reports of people paying these
deposits and then never seeing the
contractor again, or having him
disappear and they are left with a
half finished job.
There is a lack adequate
lighting and secure off-
street parking in all areas. Please consider
installing energy saver spot lights
for outside your home.
Especially residents in Penzance,
Empire Ave and Albert Road areas.
Well lit streets and pavements
assist SAPS, SSP’s and patrollers.
Lights prevent easy escape as there
are no dark corners to hide in and
the one thing these criminals fear
is they might be spotted and
Clear all vegetation off the
pavements and fences,
again no hiding places.
Have your alarms serviced regularly
and do test’s, check batteries.
Check beams, and clean out covers.
Ants love making nest in these.
Note that Armed Response Operators (AROs)
always react to every activation
whether true or false. But a false
alarm wastes time, and
could mean the minutes needed
between catching a criminal or not.
Residents need to be extra vigilant.
Check alarms are activated and
doors/windows locked and secured
when retiring for the evening.
When your alarm is disarmed, try and
keep doors locked and windows
closed. You shouldn’t be dropping
all your layers of security at
once. Do not go outside to
check why your beams have activated or to
investigate a noise.
Instead contact your
Security Service Provider to check.
Do not accept any help from
strangers at an ATM, they
switch the cards, without you even
knowing about it.
When going to a mall or shopping
areas, do not park in deserted areas
or areas that are not well lit.
When walking on the beach or on
hikes in the mountain, do not walk
alone, walk in groups it is safer.
Do not wear jewellery, or carry
expensive equipment (cameras,
cellular phones, ipads, laptops
Leave absolutely nothing
exposed and visible in your vehicle when
parking on the street, in any public
space or your driveway.
Do not leave your bag on the front
seat of your vehicles, suspects
often stand at robots and it takes
them a few seconds to break your
window and snatch your bag.
Do not leave any articles visible or
inside your vehicle, or even in the
boot. Suspects watch you leaving
Do not drink and drive. Use a
designated driver or use a taxi
More home security tips to keep you
Home Security & Burglary
Ensure that all
important documents are
by a Commissioner of Oaths and
securely locked away. If you do
not have a fire proof home safe,
lodge these copies with your
bank for safekeeping.
Ensure that perimeter doors are
fitted with adequate locks. The
front door should have a safety
chain or safety latch and, if
the door has no vision panel, a
door viewer. If keys to
perimeter doors are mislaid,
those locks should be replaced.
Fit suitable “spacers”,
locks or bolts to all
sliding doors to
from being lifted off
their tracks (the most
common method used by burglars
on sliding doors and windows).
Ensure all windows are fitted
with adequate locks or burglar
bars that cover all glass.
Ensure that all
duplicate keys are locked away
if not in use. Do not leave in
doors or make unnecessary
Install a safe for weapons and
valuables. Duplicate house keys
could be kept in this safe. Wall
safes are usually not fire proof
and therefore not suitable for
face-value documents and money.
Keep the garage and tool
shed locked when not in
use. Would–be intruders should
not have access to any item that
can be used as a weapon or
Install outside lights
that can be remotely
controlled from inside the
house. Consider installing
lighting outside which is
activated by a motion
Try not to have high walls and
tall hedges that obscure your
view of the property. If walls
and ledges are low, or have
openings, neighbours and
passers-by will more easily be
able to spot suspicious or
near the garage entrance and
front door to reduce the
possibility of those spots being
used as s hiding place.
When at home:
Always lock perimeter
doors and close windows
that are far away from where the
family activity is cantered.
At night always lock perimeter
doors and securely fasten
windows. When retiring to bed,
lock inter-leading doors of
those rooms that are not
Do not leave curtains
open at night as this
allows observation into the
Do not go outside alone to
investigate at night. Rather
switch off all lights and open
curtains to allow you to see
what is occurring outside, once
eyes have become accustomed to
Do not open any perimeter door
identification from the visitor.
If in any doubt, do not open the
door and consider summoning the
police or your ARO.
Never admit to a stranger that
you are alone.
If a repair-person is expected,
do not allow entry unless
identity has been checked
through a vision panel or door
viewer and with the company
Do not allow strangers into your
home to make telephone calls.
Rather offer to make the
telephone calls for them while
they wait outside.
If you note suspicious vehicles,
individuals or groups in your
neighbourhood, contact the
police and/or Gardens Watch.
When away from home:
Do not leave notes on the door,
underneath the carpet or in the
post box to indicate that you
Do not leave hidden keys.
Leave your house key with a
trusted neighbour or the key
holder (as registered with your
Security Service Provider) so
that access can be gained in an
Do not leave only the outside
lights on as this is usually an
indication to would-be intruders
that the house is not occupied.
Leave lights on and the radio
playing as this gives the
impression that the house is
If Confronted By An Intruder
Try to escape, if possible.
If you cannot escape, try to
lock yourself in a secure room
and lock the door.
Co-operate with the intruder.
Be observant and take particular
notice of any voice, dress or
Only shout for help or scream to
avoid serious assault.
If the intruder tries to leave,
do not hinder or apprehend him.
Do not follow the intruder
outside. Close and lock the
doors immediately and call for
help by activating the home
Other Basic Home Security
Ensure that anyone leaving your
property can get into their car,
start it, lock the doors and be
fully prepared to drive off
before the gates are opened.
If possible, ensure that anyone
leaving your premises can do so
without having to reverse into
the road. Reversing forces one
to concentrate on the driving
and not what lies outside the
gate. It also greatly reduces
If your visitors have to park in
the street, escort them to their
car when leaving and check that
the road is clear for them. If
you have dogs, take them with
you, especially after dark.
Ensure that your gate and
driveway are well lit after
dark. Replace fused light bulbs
Ensure that the number of your
house is clearly visible at all
Install electric gates –
consider this a necessity rather
than a luxury.
If you have electric gates and
an intercom system, ensure that
visitors can reach the intercom
without having to get out of
their cars. Do not leave them
waiting outside for longer than
is absolutely necessary.
If you spot anything suspicious
in your immediate vicinity, do
not leave you property or
hesitate to drive away from it.
Be particularly alert if you
live in a cul-de-sac, given
their single point of entry and
When driving, avoid wearing
flashy jewellery that can be
easily seen from a distance by a
Never leave any important
documents in your car that may
provide your personal details.
The only solution for
vehicle-related crime is to have
a tracking system installed in
REALLY WORKS FOR YOU?
Detectives have noted that
many homeowners do not have
copies of domestic
workers/gardeners ID Documents,
do not even know staff's
real names and/or
addresses. Please ensure
that you have all the relevant
information about staff in/around
your homes and obtain references
SAPS have offered to do a criminal
background check on any
new employees at
the SAPS Station. Please make an
appointment at Cape Town Central
SAPS, bring the proposed employee
along with a copy of the persons ID
document to the CSC and a criminal
record check can be done.
Many homes are observed to leave
curtains open at night with TV's,
laptops, iPods, phones, iPads laying
in clear view of passers-by. Even
a digital picture frame attracts
criminals who think it is a laptop.
The criminals in the valley are
professionals and do homework before
A commonly reported crime is a
smash and grab
where a criminal breaks/forces open
a window, enters your house, grabs
the item he has seen and disppears
long before anyone can catch him.
Jamming - an going problem
There has recently been an increase
in the reported number of ‘remote
jamming’ incidents in Cape Town.
Criminals are using electronic
devices to disrupt the signal of
remotes that activate the car alarm.
It is possible to lessen the risk of
your vehicle being targeted once you
It is also of the utmost importance
to always be aware of your
surroundings as this may
prevent you from becoming the victim
of a potentially dangerous
Good idea - Keep Laptops safe with a
In this picture two laptops have
been secured by a strong,
lockable steel cable which
is attached to a table leg or strong
bolt underneath the table.
The cable is very difficult to cut.
All laptops have this
facility and the cable is
available at all computer shops.
The thief most likely doesn't walk
around with a bolt cutter and probably
won't have time to remove the
Ongoing Phone Scam
African consumers need to be
of a phone scam
that has left some victims hundreds
of rands out of pocket. Scammers are
using several well-known brands,
including Microsoft, to
people into believing that something
is wrong with their computers.
The scam typically unfolds in the
A cold caller,
claiming to be a
representative of Microsoft,
one of its brands
or a third party
contracted by Microsoft,
tells the victim they are
checking into a
computer problem, infection
or virus that has
been detected by Microsoft.
Recent reports indicate they are
asking for the resident by name!
They will trick consumers
into installing malicious
software that could capture
sensitive data, such as online
banking user names and passwords.
They might also then charge
them for the
removal of this software.
They tell the victim they can
help and direct them to
a website that then
allows the scammers to
take control of the computer
adjusting the settings
and leaving the computer
The cold caller will then spend
some time on the computer trying
to demonstrate where the
‘problems’ are and in the
process convinces the
victim to pay a fee for a
service that will fix
Cybercriminals often use
public phone directories to harvest
consumer names and personal
information, thereby garnering
consumer trust in the sheer level of
knowledge they appear to offer about
them. These callers claim to be from
Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service
Centre, Microsoft Tech Support,
Microsoft Support, Windows Technical
Department Support Group and even
Microsoft’s Research and Development
In reality, there is nothing
wrong with these computers
but the scammer has tricked the
consumer into believing there is a
problem and that paying the fee is
the best way to get it fixed. Often
they will also push the customer to
buy a one year computer maintenance
subscription. They are just
trying to steal money from innocent
Don’t be fooled, it is not practice
at Microsoft to cold call consumers
in regards to malfunctioning PCs or
viruses.In the rare instance where
Microsoft might contact consumers
directly, the caller will be able to
verify the existence of a current
A few basic pieces of advice
can help South African consumers
from being taken in by this and
Do not purchase software
or services over the telephone.
If there is a fee
associated with the
service, hang up.
Consumers should never
authorise remote control over a
computer to a third party
unless they can confirm that
they are legitimate
representatives of a computer
support team with whom they are
already a customer.
Take the caller’s information
and report them to the South
African Police Services (08600
Never provide credit
card or financial information
to someone claiming to be from
Microsoft tech support.
If anyone fears they may already
have been scammed, they should:
Change the computer password,
change the email password and
change the password for any
financial accounts (including
bank and credit cards);
Scan their computer to find out
if they have malware installed;
Keep an eye on bank accounts and
report any potentially
Ensure the operating system is
full updated and that all
security updates are installed;
Make sure the system is
protected with strong passwords
that are changed regularly.
GPS Tracking on your Phone
Make sure you enable tracking on you
phone. In one incident reported to
SAPS and HBNW a smartphone
stolen in Llandudno was tracked and
found in Camps Bay. So it
is an excellent idea to get the tracking
application enabled, as
this will provide similar valuable
intelligence should it be stolen
along with other valuables from your
house or car.
Something to consider if you have a
GPS - don't put your home address in
If you use a GPS don't put your home
address in it. Put a nearby
address (like a shop or a
garage) so you can still get
directions to your home area if you
are returning from a strange place,
but no one else would know
where you live, if your
GPS were stolen.
There are stories of people who have
had a GPS stolen from their
car, as well as
house keys and remotes.
With these items in their
possession, and a knowledge of your
home address, thieves can readily
empty your house of
all your valuables before you are
even aware of the initial theft!
Security lights on the
outside of your house
improve the physical protection
of your house. The lights
should be directed away
from the house and must
allow the occupants to use the
windows without being
observed from outside.
Be aware of possible shadows and
Theft out of Vehicles - Always one
of the highest categories of
Theft out of Vehicle remains one
of the highest
categories of crime in
the valley. In almost all
incidents, something of value
has been left in the car.
Be sure to remove all items of
value from your vehicles when
parking. Even a jacket or a
blanket is a smash-and-grab
opportunity to a casual
stroller. Suspects will
even look for the
suction cup marks on windscreens
from the GPS unit
and break a window to
check if unit is in cubby hole.
In rainy weather check parked
cars for wipe marks
- "shopping" criminals
side windows to
see whether there are valuables
in the vehicle. If you see this
tell tale sign on parked
vehicles, report to Gardens
Watch as criminals are shopping!
Reflective House Numbering - Ensure your
house is easily identifiable.
Gardens residents do not have
adequate identification on their
houses. In any type of
emergency, be it of a security,
fire or medical nature, the
emergency personnel often have great
difficulty finding their way to the
will alleviate this
personnel find that their services
are delayed when members
need to search for
residences due to the fact
that many houses have no numbers on
them, or numbers are placed where
they cannot be seen. These delays
are very frustrating and we need to
get involved to rectify the matter.
In addition there are no street
lights to assist personnel in
finding your residence in the case
of an emergency. If you look around
in your neighbourhood, I am 100%
positive that you will find many
examples of this."
Install reflective numbers at the
most strategic spot which will
illuminate when a vehicle passes
with normal headlights switched on.
If emergency services
need to respond, there will be no
need to search for your residence
and these saved minutes could save