Buying and selling through internet sites such as Kijiji and community Facebook Buy and Sell Pages has become very popular over the past decade. To close the deal, the seller must meet with the buyer, who is usually a stranger.
The safety of buying and selling through online ads came to the forefront in 2013, when an Ancaster man was murdered while meeting with two men who wanted to buy his truck that he advertised online. The two men were convicted in 2016 of his murder.
“Although that incident was an extreme case and is not typical, it emphasizes how terribly wrong a simple meeting to sell a truck can go. More commonly however, thefts or frauds can occur during these transactions”, states PC Neumann.
Shelburne Police is encouraging the use of the parking spaces on Victoria Street in front of the Police Station to conduct transactions. “This area gives an added layer of safety when conducting these types of transactions. It is well lit, it is monitored by surveillance cameras, and it has a strong police presence”, said PC Neumann. “We strongly encourage using the police station to meet, rather than meeting at a strangers home, or bringing strangers to your home”, he added.
Several other police services promote similar “safe places” to conduct internet transactions. “Preventing crimes from happening in the first place is one of Shelburne Police Service’s priorities. We hope the community takes advantage of this location for completing their transactions”, states PC Neumann.