The Abbotsford Police Department has set up an area outside its headquarters where people can safely complete their online purchase or sale transactions.
Sgt. Judy Bird said the zone has been set up because meeting an unknown buyer or seller – after an online transaction through social media platforms such as Craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook – has face-to-face risks.
“The new Buy and Sell Exchange Zone offers video surveillance, a safe location and the presence of law enforcement to enhance public safety and to reduce crime,” she said.
The zone is located in front of the APD at 2838 Justice Way. Two designated parking spots are identifiable with signage.
Bird said the area is monitored by 24/7 video surveillance, and it is recommended that those wishing to use this area do so during daylight hours.
She said officers are unable to assist in civil transactions.
Bird offers the following tips for a safe online buy-sell experience:
– 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 exchanging funds.
– 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 (such as a social insurance number, bank account number or address) over the internet.
Bird said questions about the information collected in the Buy and Sell Exchange Zone may be directed to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Coordinator at 604-859-5225.
Purchasers are encouraged to use the Canadian Police Information Centre’s online database (cpic-cipc.ca) to search the serial number of any item they intend to purchase as one method of ensuring the item has not been reported stolen.