Stay safe this payday when using ATMs

  • Be alert and conscious of your surroundings when using the ATM
  • Never give your card or PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone, for any reason
  • Don’t write your PIN on the card or anything that is kept with the card
  • Do not insert your card until asked to do so by the display screen
  • Never use an ATM with a blank screen and, if the ATM is obscured from view or poorly lit, leave immediately and find another ATM
  • Stand close to the ATM and use your body and hand as a shield to make sure nobody sees you keying in your pin
  • Also, make sure you keep your hand over the card slot to make sure nobody can swop or take your card
  • Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM; you should be wary of strangers asking for help
  • Criminals work in teams – one to distract you while the other steals your card or money
  • If your card is retained (swallowed) by the ATM it is advisable to phone your bank toll free stop card line immediately and stop your card
  • Never allow a bystander to call the toll-free stop card line on your behalf – they could be tricking you into thinking your card has been stopped
  • Guards are placed at ATMs to discourage criminal activities and therefore cannot help you with transactions
  • If you need help, ask a bank official
  • It is advisable to set a daily ATM withdrawal limit at your branch

Courtesy of the South African Police Services: https://www.saps.gov.za/alert/safety_tips_atm.php

Why you should test Namola

Since Namola was released, we have encouraged Namola Users to test the app to see how it works. However, even though we encouraging testing, we understand that some Users are hesitant to test the app. In this post, we’ll answer common questions and concerns about testing Namola, and hope to encourage everybody to test the app before having to use it in a real emergency.

I don’t know how to test Namola

To test Namola:

  1. Download  and register with Namola
  2. Open the Namola app
  3. Hold down the Request Assistance button until it is fully red
  4. Indicate that you are doing a test
  5. Answer the phone when one of our Agents calls you nearly instantly

I don’t want the police to be dispatched to me by mistake

They won’t. A Response Centre Agent will always call and confirm your emergency before dispatching emergency responders to your incident.

I don’t want to cry wolf when it is not an emergency, and that is why I don’t want to test Namola

Just as alarm companies encourage their clients to test their alarms, Namola encourages their Users to test Namola – especially when it is not an emergency! Knowing how Namola works when you are not in an emergency will prepare you for when you need to #GetHelpFast in a real incident.

I don’t want to waste resources when there may be a real crime in progress

Namola wants Users to know how to #GetHelpFast. The Namola Response Centre Agents are available 24/7 and helping users test Namola as preparation for a real emergency (which hopefully never comes!) is as important as assisting in a real incident. Be familiar with how to use Namola — the more familiar you are with the app, the faster you can request assistance in an emergency.

Don’t have Namola? Download Namola FREE now

How you can help in a Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heist

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Cash In Transit (CIT) heists are on the increase and are fast becoming one of the biggest dangers to the South African public. Figures from the South African Banking Risk Information Council (SABRIC) show that there were 378 CIT robberies in 2017. That is, on average, over one CIT incident per day, reflecting a 41% increase of these incidents year-on-year.

Eyewitness accounts can assist law enforcement, however the public is warned not to put themselves at risk. Namola and Dialdirect offer the following tips to bystanders who witness a CIT:

  • Be Safe. Get to a place of safety as quickly as possible. Never put your own safety at risk.
  • Report the incident. The public has been urged to download the Namola app and press the emergency ‘Request Assistance’ button when witnessing a CIT robbery or other crime to #GetHelpFast. An appeal has also been made to the public to come forward with information. Tip-offs can be made anonymously to Crime Stop by calling 08600 10111.
  • Be observant: What are the perpetrators wearing? What colour and make is the car? Can you see the licence plate number (or a portion of it)?

Report your missing child FAST!

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Courtney Pieters is a three-year-old little girl who went missing more than a year ago. After an extensive 10-day search her body was found in an industrial area near to where she lived. She had been raped and murdered.

Unfortunately, Courtney’s story is not an uncommon one in South Africa. According to the figures released by the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau, a child in South Africa goes missing every 5 hours. 23% of these children are never located. Here is what you need to know if you are ever faced with the horrible reality of your child going missing:

  • Don’t wait 24 hours! Report your missing child as soon as you realise they are missing. You can also do this via the Namola App
  • Complete a SAPS 55 form. If you are not sure where your nearest police station is, request assistance via Namola
  • Contact Missing Child South Africa (MCSA) on 072 647 7464

The fastest way to find your child is to provide the authorities with the following information:

  • Personal details. Give the name and age of your missing child and any defining details.
  • Description of the child. It’s a really good idea to keep a recent photo of your child on you at all times.
  • Details surrounding the disappearance. Know where your child is at all times and who they with so that you are able to give context of how you child went missing

The first 24-hours in a missing persons case are the most crucial. Make sure that you #GetHelpFast. Download Namola FREE.

Namola user has Cat-astrophe

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What is classified as an emergency is different in everyone’s eyes, but when Namola user, Todd’s* beloved cat, Fluffy, found itself at the top of an electric pole, Todd, found that he had an emergency on his hands.

“I was totally panicked,” says Todd, “ I also own a dog and one of my friend’s dogs had come over to visit and had scared Fluffy up the pole.”

Todd tried a couple of numbers but could not get through to any public emergency services and so used the @NamolaApp to request assistance. Namola’s fast thinking agent made contact with the SPCA who got a vet to give Todd a call.

“The vet gave me very logical advice to remove the dogs, who were making my cat scared, from the scene. Unfortunately it took a day for Fluffy to come down the pole and back home, but I was just so grateful that someone was able to assist me in my panic,” says Todd.

Psychologist John Leach, a specialist in human responses to emergency situations, developed his “10/80/10 rule of survival” after examining a variety of crises and people’s reactions to them. According to Leach, 10% of people facing an emergency control their fears and act rationally. Eighty percent find themselves stunned and relatively unprepared to respond. The last 10%, Leach concluded, become hysterical and unable to cope with the situation at hand.

A common thread among survivors is the ability to prioritise and maintain focus. If you are prepared and practice what to do in an emergency, you have the tools to be able to deal with the emergency at hand. This is why Namola encourages their users to download and test the @NamolaApp. Knowing how to use the app will allow users to #GetHelpFast in any emergency.

*Users name has been changed to protect privacy

Get out of protest action, safely

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#ProtestAction is not an uncommon occurrence in South Africa. Motorists should be prepared in the event that they come across protest action unexpectedly.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng says that if you do find yourself at the centre of violence on the road‚ you may want engage with protestors to let them know you are no threat to them.

“It’s important that anyone driving in an area that may be affected by unrest, understands that SAPS will most probably have blocked off a road to prevent entry. Listen to the police‚ and don’t put yourself in any danger by disobeying them.”

If you do happen to find yourself in the middle of protest action, the AA suggests the tips to Arrive Alive:

Escape routes. Check for possible escape routes you can use‚ or for a police presence that you can approach for assistance.

Remain in the vehicle. Stay in your car as long as possible. Unbuckle your seatbelt‚ and those of any passengers‚ to be prepared to exit your car quickly. If the situation seems to be turning‚ leave your car and get out of the area on foot. Remember your life is more valuable than your car or any possessions.

Keep moving. Try and get as far as you can‚ whilst checking for possible escape routes. Beware of hitting any protesters with your vehicle as this may turn the mob against you.

Remain calm. Ensure that you are aware of what is going on around you. Do not taunt the protestors by shouting‚ gesticulating or hooting at them.

Seek assistance. If you do not see the police you can request assistance through your Namola app.

Namola is available nationwide. Download Namola FREE.

Nightmare home invasion has happy ending

Most of us hope that the infringement of privacy and security that is a home invasion will never occur in the comfort of our own homes. Unfortunately for Stephany-Louise van Heerden, the nightmare became a reality. Stephany and her mom were the only ones at home when they came face-to-face with someone trying to break into their house.

“My mom woke up to someone shining a torch through her bedroom window. My dad was not at home and so I was really scared.”

Stephany opened the newly installed Namola app on her phone and at the push of a button, requested assistance. Within seconds, Stephany received a call from a Namola Response Agent, who put her at ease that help was on the way.

“The Agent was wonderful and followed up with me right up until the police arrived.”

Stephany is one of 150,000 South Africans who have downloaded Namola, the crime response app that helps users #GetHelpFast in emergencies.

“Thank you for the great service, Namola. I can’t believe how fast the police were able to get to me.”

Namola encourages users to test the app to ensure that they are ready to use it in an emergency.

Free yourself from crime

Brought to you by Dialdirect

Freedom month gives us an opportunity to look at ways to free ourselves from crime in South Africa. Unfortunately we we live in a society where the idea of freedom seems to be under threat from a series of sinister acts by brazen criminals. Long weekends, especially, are like honey to the proverbial criminal bees.

Namola encourages South Africans to be proactive in their fight against crime particularly if, with the upcoming public holidays, travelling away from home is on the cards. Make sure that your home is safe and that you take note of the following tips courtesy of Property 24 and the South African Police Service to keep your home safe while you are away:

  • Test your alarm. Make sure that it is working properly before you go on holiday
  • Check access points. Close and lock all windows and doors and ensure all windows have burglar bars. Fit suitable locks and bolts to all sliding doors as a means to prevent burglars from lifting the glass off its tracks – the most common method for break-ins
  • Can’t come to the phone right now? Do not leave an out-of-town message on your answering machine, door or post box
  • Leave no trace. If you are away for a long period of time, ask someone to clear your post box every few days. Cancel newspaper deliveries for the period you are away
  • Never bury your treasure. Do not leave keys on the inside of doors or hidden under doormats, in flower pots, etc.
  • Pack away tools. Never leave tools in your garden or an unlocked garden shed that would help intruders break in

Wherever you are this long weekend remember that you can always #GetHelpFast with the @NamolaApp. Download it now

How is Namola Free?

Namola is a free app with no hidden costs and no per incident fee. We are able to offer a free service, at this stage, due to our partnership with Dialdirect, who are passionate about the fight against crime in South Africa.

Namola is able to help our users #GetHelpFast by making use of established public emergency services, paid for by the taxpayers of South Africa. Additionally, we work with existing community safety initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch groups and Community Policing Forums, who volunteer to keep their districts safe and are able to assist in emergency situations.

Child Safety: Must read children’s books on safety

 

Selfies, Sexts And Smartphones – A Teenager’s Online Survival Guide – Emma Sadlier and Lizzie Harrison. This book is a must read for teenagers and parents. In fact, it is a book everyone should read. In a time where everything is online, this book covers all of the major issues teenagers face in the digital age, including cyberbullying, sexting, addiction, internet safety, porn, anxiety, depression, privacy and reputation, and does so within a South African context. Accessible, informative and even fun, this book will help guide you to a happy, rewarding and, most importantly, safe online life.

 

A Little Book About Safety –  Samantha Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller. This book is written for our younger demographics, with a refreshingly empowering approach. A Little Book About Safety tackles the tough topic of kids personal safety in a gentle, memorable way. When adorable little Hugo Hippo heads out for a day of fun with his family at The Happy Herd Community Pool, he is confronted by all sorts of opportunities to make choices about his own safety. He learns to trust his own Uh-Oh Feeling when something feels too scary; he remembers to Check First with a safe adult before going anywhere unexpected; and he learns exactly what to do in case he gets lost. In this colourful story full of lovable characters and relatable situations, young kids will absorb essential tools and tips to keep themselves safe.

 

Body Safety Education: A Parents’ Guide to Protecting Kids from Sexual Abuse – Jayneen Sanders. No parent ever wants to think about this, but it’s a reality that we need to be aware of and empower our children with the correct knowledge to protect themselves. This book is a parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse, through a step-by-step guide for parents on how to protect children from sexual abuse through personal Body Safety Education. This guide contains simple, practical and age-appropriate ideas, as well as important information. Body Safety knowledge empowers children. It goes a long way to keeping them safe from sexual abuse, and ensuring they grow up as assertive and confident teenagers and adults.

 

Topsy and Tim: Safety First – Jean Adamson. A fun series of books for the younger demographic that sees Topsy and Tim finding fun and adventure in the real world. Their engaging stories are reassuring for young children having first experiences of their own. In Topsy and Tim: Safety First, the children learn about all kinds of things regarding safety, including crossing the road, playing safely in the garden and using their special booster seats in the car! A trusted and well-loved pair who can help guide parents and children through ‘first experiences’, Topsy and Tim books have been beautifully updated with contemporary artwork. Topsy and Tim remain instantly recognisable to parents while in a fresh style that will appeal to a new generation of fans. These wonderful books deserve a place on every child’s bookshelves.

 

Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child, 9th Edition – Lynn Marotz. We love this book because it covers contemporary health, safety, and nutrition needs of infants through to school-age children in one comprehensive, full-color volume. Concepts are backed by the latest research findings and linked to NAEYC standards. Early childhood educators, professionals, and families will find the latest research and information on many topics of significant concern, including food safety, emergency and disaster preparedness, childhood obesity, children’s mental health, bullying, resilience, chronic and acute health conditions, environmental quality, and children with special medical needs. Also provided are easy-to-access checklists, guidelines, and activities that no early childhood student or professional should be without.