Crime - theft, Cape Town
Hello all, Just want to notify all tourists to beware of theft.
Just got two Debit cards with PINs stolen (Meanwhile blocked).
Really nifty scam: Cashier at Supermarket (Pick n Pay at Financial District of Cape Town) is about 1-2 m from exit.
Paid cash, got my goods, picked up the receipt. Young man (Round face, coloured, about 1,75 m tall) in that area, whom I thought to be an employee of the shop, insisted that I have my receipt scanned (Receipt has a bar code at bottom) and pointed downstairs the escalator.
I pointed out to him that I'd already paid cash, he insisted.
I thought that this was a compulsory bonus program of "Pick and Pay" where the card needs to be registered for marketing reasons.
Went thus downstairs, did not know where to register, a coloured person in a uniform pointed me to the ATM.
Put in my credit card, somebody stated I should in my pin in a protected manner, and pointed to a spot where I should stand. I did, shielding my PIN entry with my body, seemingly to no avail.
A very authoritative man seemingly knowing the ATM then "helped" me. The system did not respond, could not get my card out.
The man "suggested" I put in a second card, to trigger the removal of the first. Did not work, put in second pin. Second card also did not come out.
Suddenly, they were all gone. Had taken debit cards with them.
Rushed upstairs, shouted that I had been robbed, nobody reacted.
Rushed to the apartment, got out my spreadsheet with card details and phone numbers for card blocking, and had these two cards blocked.
Lessons learned: Beware of strangers being helpful.
Beware when they become authoritative and take the initiative.
Beware of _anything_ that happens near an ATM machine, distractions, noise, crowd, etc.
Beware if there are people inside the "safety zone" of an ATM.
Have all your credit card details and the emergency phone numbers stored away separately from your credit cards and handy in case of theft or fraud. I did mine a couple of years ago, came in rather useful here.
Note furthermore: Sorry to say, but I will from now on be very careful when black or coloured people try to help me. There were no white people involved here. Maybe coincidence.
Be carefull at nights when you go out. Stay in the center, if going out do not go on your own to certain quarters but stay in group.
Beware of drunken drivers.