• What is "jugging"?
  • How thieves target banking customers
  • How to stay safe

With more cashless options, more people use the Internet to conduct banking transactions. From direct deposit to cashless pay apps like Zelle, some of us can't imagine walking into a physical bank or using an ATM to withdraw cash anymore.

Don't get caught by thieves. How to stay safe from jugging.
If you think you're being followed, make left turns and call the police. // Canva

However, some people still conduct their banking at a physical establishment; for example, businesses still use brick-and-mortar institutions for withdrawals and deposits. Also, many seniors aren't comfortable using digital applications and often prefer having a human available to guide them, especially regarding their money.

READ: Protect Yourself From Gift Card Scams: A Cautionary Tale

Don't get caught by thieves. How to stay safe from jugging.
Don't leave money in your car. // Canva

A Sneaky New Crime is Sweeping Arizona

As inflation pushes prices higher, thieves are becoming more insidious. Bank jugging is a sneaky crime that’s been popping up in Arizona, especially in larger metropolitan areas across the state.

Don't get caught by thieves. How to stay safe from jugging.
Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. // Canva

What is Jugging?

According to ABC15.com, jugging is a new name for an old crime. Thieves watch their mark withdraw cash from a bank or ATM, then follow their victim, waiting for the perfect opportunity to snatch the money. Here are some of their tactics:

  • Thieves watch as you leave the bank or ATM.
  • They follow you to your next location, then either rob you directly or break into your unattended parked car and steal your cash.

READ: Lax State Law Could Make You a Victim of this Scam in Arizona

Don't get caught by thieves. How to stay safe from jugging.
Be sure to put away youre cash before leaving the bank counter or an ATM. // Canva

Police Advice: How to Stay Safe from Jugging

So, how do you keep your hard-earned cash safe?

  • Police advise you to stay hyper-aware of your surroundings, especially if you carry money.
  • If you spot a car just hanging out in the bank parking lot or seeming to be tailing you, that’s a red flag.
  • Never leave the bank with cash in your hand. Tuck it away in your pocket, bag, or purse before you leave the bank counter or ATM.
  • If you believe you've been followed, call 911 or your local police department.
Don't get caught by thieves. How to stay safe from jugging.
Call the police if you don't feel safe and you believe you've been followed. // Canva

Police departments across Arizona are warning people to stay sharp. In Scottsdale, the police department had dealt with twenty-four cases by the end of last year and counting.

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If you believe you've been targeted by thieves, lock your doors and keep your cash out of sight. If you think you’re being followed, make four right turns. If they're still following you, call your local police department or the county sheriff.

Incidents of jugging spike during tax season. Be sure to share this information with anyone vulnerable to this targeted attack, like the elderly. Don't let the thieves catch you or someone you know off guard.

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