Using the Internet can be a convenient way to find exactly what you’re looking for, and at a good price. But if you’re not careful, it could cost you big time.
Local 4 has covered numerous stories about people being ripped off by fraudulent transactions that are made online. In many cases, the victims end up losing cash to strangers or get stuck with fake merchandise. Worse, some of the victims are assaulted during the meet up with potential buyers/sellers.
While the public can’t control who they meet online for such transactions, they can control where they meet them. And the Troy Police Department is helping with that.
The department has created a “safe zone” for online transactions in its parking lot, which is under video surveillance.
“What we’re doing is offering up as a point to make you more comfortable in dealing with strangers when you’re making transactions. It would make more sense to do it there than even have them meet you at your own house. That way you’re not giving the person the location where you live,” Troy police Capt. Bob Redmond said. “If the other person doesn’t show up, that should be a pretty red flag to you that they don’t want to meet you in the parking lot of a police station to do business with. That should be your first signal that you don’t need to deal with this person.”
Redmond said not only does the safe zone add legitimacy to the transaction, it someone is bold enough to commit a crime in front of a police station, investigators can review the video to get crucial details that could solve the crime.
“With the cameras rolling, everything that happens then is recorded. If something happens, and two weeks later you found out you bought a car that was stolen, we have the evidence of the other person that was involved in it,” Redmond said. “All the cameras that we have are run 24/7 and we save for a long period of time.”
Police warn that online transactions should be conducted during the day and in public areas.
Source: Click On Detroit