A pilot project at the Edson RCMP detachment aimed at online shoppers could go viral as a way to decrease crime, theft and fraud in all rural communities.
Officials at the Edson RCMP detachment are introducing an Exchange Zone program to help provide a safe place for people to meet when buying and selling items online. The Exchange Zone is located in the front parking lot of the RCMP detachment and has two designated parking stalls that are reserved for these exchanges. It is intended to provide citizens with a safe alternative when meeting someone for the first time regarding the sale or purchase of items listed online.
“When you make a purchase or sale from a social media app and need to meet someone whom you don’t know, these spots are for you,” says Staff Sergeant Christian Delisle, Detachment Commander of the Edson RCMP.
The Exchange Zone will be available at all times, however RCMP encourage residents to visit during daytime hours. Officers will not be available to supervise these meetings or help people negotiate their sales. The sites are meant to provide an alternative to meetings in unfamiliar areas or at personal residences.
“If you don’t feel safe having someone come to your residence, we want you to use these parking spots," said Delisle.
When making arrangements to complete online transactions face-to-face, people are encouraged to follow these safety tips:
- Don't go alone
- Take your cell phone with you
- Do not carry large sums of cash
- Trust your instincts, if it sounds like a scam it probably is
- Be cautious when buying/selling high value items.
- Perform the transaction during daylight hours
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- If somebody is not willing to come to the police department to do a transaction it is probably not a legitimate transaction
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