Wise up with this refresher on personal safety

Whenever I get into my car now, I lock the doors immediately – even before I start the engine. It’s about being safe rather than sorry.

I’ve heard too many news bulletins about people knocking on your window at shopping centres pretending to have something you’ve dropped, or claiming you hit their car, or them.

No one wants to be fearful, but these tips might help keep you safe.

In your vehicle
Always keep your car doors locked, whether you are in or out of your car. Never risk running out of petrol, and service your car regularly.

If your car does break down, pull over to the left as far as possible, call for assistance, raise the bonnet and wait inside the car.

Don’t leave your handbag, wallet or laptop on the seat beside you. Put it on the floor, where it is out of sight and more difficult for someone to grab.

When returning to your car, check the front and back seats before getting in.

Never pick up hitchhikers. If someone appears to be in trouble and is trying to get you to stop, call the police.

While shopping
Never leave your handbag in a shopping cart or unattended.

Don’t carry more cash than necessary.

Don’t display large sums of cash.

Out walking
Avoid walking alone at night. Avoid high-risk areas, even during the day.

Stay alert to your surroundings. Walk confidently.

Have your key ready when you approach your front door.

Keep your bag close to your body.

Door-knockers/phone calls
Never agree to home repairs with a ‘tradesperson’ who says he/she will give you an amazing price if you agree to the work now – for cash.

Don’t make charity donations at your front door. Go straight to the source, i.e. the website.

Never give bank details over the phone.

Ignore the get-rich-quick scheme. If it seems too good to be true, it will be.

If you have been conned, report the crime to the police. Con artists rely on their victims’ reluctance to admit they’ve been duped.

Are you more fearful than you were years ago? Do you religiously follow any of these tips?

Written by Janelle Ward

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