Headline October 16, 2016/ ''' THY *VIGILANT* !WOW!? '''

''' THY *VIGILANT* !WOW!? '''

*THIS HAPPENED TO A FRIEND OF MINE, WATCH OUT!*   Viral posts on social media about crimes are usually hoaxes. But there's no reason not to be vigilant.

We all best listen up, as that's nobody other than Norbert Almeida, a security advisor Twitter.

EVERY NOW AND THEN  -you'll find a social media post or receive a message via email or-

Whatsapp  going viral, warning you of some grave- new method of crime that has occurred. For the most part, these have either never happened or the circumstances around an actual incident are vague or sometimes even terribly exaggerated.

Whether it's about  vehicle registration plates  being stolen,  being offered perfume samples to test,  a paper stuck on the rear screen,  chances are these all are nothing but pure hoaxes.

However, this does not mean that the exact same thing or something similar cannot happen. So what exactly should one consider to remain safe on the streets. 
Let us discuss some of the recent concerns. 

Removing the vehicle registration plate:
This method primarily relies on the ability of the alleged criminal to make you believe that plate they are holding is actually yours. Always check your number plates are fixed properly-

A quick glance at the front and rear of the car before leaving the place will reassure you that your plates are there. Don't forget to do the same when parking and leaving the vehicle.

A part of your vehicle maintenance checklist should be to always check that the bolts are properly fixed and replace any loose or rusting bolts. Do not park in isolated places or dark spots wherever possible and if you have no choice, then remember to check your vehicle before leaving.

But what happens if despite these checks you're signaled by someone with a plate that resembles yours? know your vehicle number. As surprising it sounds often enough people do not recall their own vehicle registration numbers.

Don't stop in an isolated. Ask the person to come to the nearest spot where there are more people  [fuel station, Mall etc]. If you are stuck in traffic, then roll down the window slightly that they can slip the plate through the gap.

If you already have your screen down then ensure none of your belongings are kept on the dashboard or in plain sight that could attract their attention.

If you're not sure but nervous about accepting the plate, ask them to give it to the nearest cop. You can always retrieve it when when you feel it is safe to do so. 

As stated earlier, the scam works only when when the victim believes that the plate is theirs. Make yourself a difficult target and the likelihood of something happening is significantly reduced.  

Trying perfume samples in the parking lot and getting kidnapped:
The scenario works primarily under the condition that the criminal believes that the victim is alone or that they can the kidnapping without detection or limited resistance.

It is unlikely to occur in the parking of major shopping mall because they generally have better security and surveillance and because of the sheer volume of people.  

Furthermore, most street vendors won't be permitted or even if they are present, will be moved away regularly. Choose where you shop wisely especially when alone, selecting places that are not isolated or parking that is closer to the property. In case of parking at a distance, use valet if available.

Choose a day when there will more parking space and, if not possible, maybe choose public transport. Remember you could simply park at a safer location and take public transport to the place you need to do your work.

If you work in an area that's crowded and struggle with decent parking, you could ensure you never walk to your vehicle alone. Another colleagues, a security guard, or anyone you trust could accompany you to your vehicle.

Remember, don't leave the person to walk back alone as they could become the victim. You should drop them to the nearest safe point.

Finally, the most obvious step is not to accept such items on the street. Criminals prey on the fact that you are unaware of your surroundings especially when you are outside your personal comfort zone.Make your self a hard target by following these simple tips.

.- Knowing where you are going and understand what would be the parking challenges. Would using a driver, a valet, public transport mean reducing your risk? Never openly display your belongings like keeping them lying on the dashboard or centre panel.

.- If you've been shopping and purchased multiple items, reduce the number of bags by putting one into the other and making them easy to carry. Some ingenious criminals offer to assist you for a small fee in carrying your bags and then they spring away with your items.

.- Put  *Laptops*  and other large-sized valuables in the car trunk. However, remember to do so when you're leaving the office or home, not when you reach your destination where others might observe what you're doing.

.- Approach law enforcement for help but don't rush at them. Rushing at them could make them perceive you as the threat.

.- Finally always report any crime that has occurred with you or your immediate family to the authorities.

With respectful dedication to the World : Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society, and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' !Watch Out! '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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