“It won’t happen to me.”
Everyone has said this at one point in their lives. That is till they're faced with a difficult situation and question what they should do or how to react. What happens next can impact the rest of our lives. Sometimes, people will remain guarded while taking precautions to avoid a frightening situation.
Around the country, numerous accounts of jugging get reported by unsuspecting victims. “Jugging” refers to a scheme in which a criminal follows an individual after they have visited a financial institution, intending to rob them. Robbers watch for people leaving financial institutions carrying large amounts of cash, with bank envelopes or carrying large bags or boxes. Once the robbers identify their victims, they will make their move.
Stay alert! Here are a few ways juggers operate:
· Following individuals from their financial institution to a second location. Once they have arrived at the second location, the robbers will break into the vehicle and steal any valuables that might have been left in the car.
· The robbers might also follow the individual to the second location with hopes that they will be in a private area alone, and the criminal can commit their crime without witnesses.
· Sometimes, the robbers will work in groups to execute a plan of robbing multiple people. One might serve as the lookout and the second might raid the victims.
· In many instances, a criminal might rob an individual by threatening with a weapon, so the victim hands over their money without a fight.
Jugging is becoming more popular and robbers will often target disabled or elderly people who have just left a financial institution. Victims have often shared that it could have been avoided if they had paid more attention to people who were following them. Some ways to avoid becoming a victim include:
· Always be conscious of your surroundings. If you see a suspicious person(s) or vehicle in the parking lot, inform the bank manager.
· Conceal and hold on tight to your purses and bags as you enter or leave the bank. This includes coin boxes and envelopes.
· If you stop at a second location, make sure to take your bank bag or envelope with you. Don’t hide it in your vehicle, you never know who is watching. If you must leave it in the vehicle, make sure to put it in a locked area that’s hard to obtain. It might be helpful to invest in a dashcam as well.
· Try to avoid going to the bank in a routine manner, such as regular visits at the same time of day.
· After leaving the bank, don't go directly to your next destination. Drive around a for a while to see if a vehicle is following you. If you are being followed, be sure to call 911 or drive to the nearest police station.
Even if you have followed all of these steps and you are still a victim of jugging, remain calm and pay attention to the robber’s description. Paying attention to the description of the robber will be very helpful when completing your police report.
Aventa Credit Union wants our members to know we care about them, their future, and their safety. If you see suspicious activity, call your local police regarding your concerns. You can also let us know, and we will call the police for you. Please remember to be smart, be safe, and be aware.