Learn how thieves are using Jugging and Bait & Switch to take your cash and the steps to prevent becoming a victim.
In order to stay safe and avoid becoming a victim, it’s important to be aware of what’s happening around you. We’ve seen a rise in two robbery trends — one targets those visiting financial institutions and the other takes advantage of those willing to help others in need.
What You Need To Know
The term “jugging” is new and may be unfamiliar to you, but it’s a type of crime that’s been around for quite some time. Criminals, often working in teams, will stake out financial institutions or ATMs and wait for potential victims to withdraw cash. Once the victim has the cash in hand, the robber will take the money from them or break into their car — most often after they’ve followed the victim to a new location.
Another trick thieves use is referred to as “bait and switch”. This happens when a suspect acts as if they’re in distress and asks for a ride as you leave a financial institution or ATM. While you’re driving them, their partner will follow you, and both will rob you once you arrive at the destination. They’ll take your money and often attempt to take your vehicle as well.
To guard against these schemes, it’s important to:
- Pay attention to your surroundings when arriving and departing
- Be on the lookout for individuals who don’t exit their vehicle to conduct business
- If you observe something suspicious, don’t leave the building, vehicle, or wherever you’re at, and notify someone immediately
- Conceal your money, bank bags, envelopes, or coin boxes before you leave a financial institution
- Don’t leave any cash or valuables — hidden or not — in an unattended vehicle
- Make banking the last stop while running errands
- Lock your doors when you get into your vehicle
If you’re approached outside of a financial institution:
- Politely decline any request and continue to your vehicle or go back into the financial institution
- Check to see if the person who approached you gets in a vehicle or makes a call
- Ensure you’re not followed when leaving
If for any reason you think you’re being targeted or followed, call 911, keep the dispatcher on the line, and keep driving until a marked police car finds you. You can also drive to the nearest police, fire, or medic station.
The best thing you can do to keep you and your money safe is to not be distracted and remember to follow the tips above. However, if all else fails and you are attacked, give them what they want. Your safety is worth more than what they’re attempting to steal.