Protect Your Cash This Festive Season

    JN Group

    The amount of money in circulation tends to increase in the weeks leading up to Christmas based on the additional demand from people taking advantage of holiday sales or surrendering to social pressures and traditions.

    While more cashless payment options have come on stream, there are still people who interact with physical cash at this time of year for different reasons.

    However, carrying large sums of money can be tricky. If you’re not careful, you could have it stolen, and you could be harmed in the process. Like you, criminals are looking to make the Yuletide season, ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. They know consumers usually carry more cash around at this time and are more likely to let their guard down during festivities.

    Therefore, we’re encouraging you to be smart with how you carry your money. Here are a few tips to safeguard your cash.

    1. Don’t carry too much money around

    Keep your purse or wallet light and only carry what you might need for the day. Bulky wallets and purses will easily catch the eyes of pickpockets. If you need to withdraw extra cash from an ATM, be sure to avoid those that are secluded and do not go late at night or early in the morning. You may also want to stay away from vendors who only take cash because shopping with them could make you a potential target for theft.

    1. Divide all your cash before you travel

    This may seem trivial but it makes sense. One incident of theft can leave you with nothing, and you shouldn’t keep all your money in one place. This way, if anything gets lost or stolen, you should have enough cash to enable you to get help. Also, keep change and smaller denomination notes handy and separate from your wallet or purse so you can easily pay for whatever product or service without drawing unwanted attention to yourself. There would be no need to flash everyone in your surroundings with a wallet or purse full of cash.

    1. Keep money in hard to reach places

    Don’t keep your wallet or purse in a handy position. If these are not easily accessible to you, it won’t be easy for the criminals. Hide spare cash inside your under-clothing or other safe places such as bra stashes, under-garments with built-in pockets or hidden pockets. Consider investing in a good anti-theft bag with slash-proof fabric and hidden compartments. If you do use a bag, keep it in front of your body so that it is in your vision at all times.

    1. Act normal

    Try not to show any signs of nervousness if you are carrying lots of cash, as this will alert thieves. Act normal and calm. Don’t fidget and avoid constantly checking your pockets, wallet or purse for hidden money.

    1. Stay vigilant

    Don’t get distracted. Be on the lookout for people acting suspiciously and strangers approaching you for no reason. Avoid persons offering to help as they may only be looking to help themselves to your cash and other valuables.

    Other Safe Money Tips to Consider For The Holidays

    1. Get company when travelling with extra cash

    If you know you’ll be travelling with extra cash during this time, have someone you trust accompany you while you conduct your activities. This way, you will have an extra pair of eyes looking out for suspicious people and they can also help you to transport some of the cash.  The extra person may also be useful in staying with your vehicle and important packages while you conduct business.

    1. Use alternatives

    Where you can, go for other options besides cash. Use cards where convenient and consider mobile or online payments. But remember there are also best practices to stay safe while using these alternatives.

    1. Have someone who can send you money when in need

    It’s good to have someone who can bail you out of an emergency, should you fall victim to pickpockets or thieves. Ensure there is someone who knows your plans and can offer financial assistance.

    While this is a time for joy and celebration, remember there’s a reason this period is also known as the ‘silly season’. Enjoy the holidays but stay alert!

    For more tips on how to protect yourself, download and read the JN Safety and Security Booklet

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