In an effort to alleviate the risk that can come with online transactions, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has set up what it calls a “Buy and Sell Exchange Zone,” outside its headquarters.
“The use of online classifieds websites or social media platforms… to buy and sell goods is very popular, but meeting an unknown buyer or seller face-to-face has risks,” said APD Sgt. Judy Bird.
The Buy and Sell Exchange Zone, she said, “offers video surveillance, a safe location and the presence of law enforcement to enhance public safety and to reduce crime.”
Bird also cautioned, “it is recommended that those wishing to use this area do so during daylight hours.”
APD headquarters is located at 2838 Justice Way and there are two designated parking for those wishing to use the buy and sell zone.
Police are also reminding people to follow certain safety tips when conducting transactions that originate online. These include:
- Meet in a public place with many people around.
- Refrain from using remote locations, or your home, for any exchange.
- If possible, bring a friend or a family member.
- When buying or selling, meet in-person to thoroughly inspect the product before
- Keep things local and in cash. Don’t use cheques or money wiring services.
- Only bring enough cash with you to pay for the item purchased.
- Do not give out personal or banking information (e.g. social insurance number, bank
account number or address) over the Internet.
Those who are purchasing goods via online platforms are also encouraged to use the Canadian Police Information Centre’s online database to search the serial number of any item they intend to purchase as one method of ensuring the item has not been reported stolen.