The Avon Police Department is creating safe online shopping exchange places

In entrance of the Avon Police Division, there’s a signal donated by OfferUp stating that the division is a neighborhood assembly place, protected and safe for individuals to fulfill for on-line change transactions.
Ash Lohman/Phil Day by day

The Avon Police Division is placing up two new indicators marking places within the division the place individuals are inspired to fulfill for a web based buy change.

OfferUp, a web based market that includes in-person transactions, donated indicators to the police division. One is situated in entrance of the constructing within the automotive park and the opposite signal is within the station foyer.

Avon Police Officer Andy Sandoval stated every spot supplies totally different components of safety for neighborhood members who select to fulfill there to facilitate transactions.

On the neighborhood assembly place outdoors the police station, Sandoval stated individuals have 24/7 entry to a safe area with video surveillance. For these abroad transactions, he stated, individuals don’t even want to inform cops that they are going to be assembly there.

“However, if you need an officer to come back out to assist facilitate, we’re more than pleased to take action,” Sandoval stated.

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On prime of video footage recorded outdoors the Avon Police Division, officers serving to to facilitate transactions that happen outdoors the station can even have entry to video and audio footage of the assembly.

If the transaction takes place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Sandoval stated individuals can use the in-community assembly place. With an inside assembly place, individuals can both conduct their transactions within the foyer of the Avon Police Division or within the division’s interview room. Sandoval stated each factors haven’t solely video surveillance of the deal however audio monitoring as nicely.

With safety offered on the Avon Police Division’s meetup websites, Sandoval stated officers might have a larger likelihood of detecting and stopping fraudulent exercise that may usually happen with on-line transactions.

“We have had a number of fraudulent (transactions), and you haven’t any concept — it is loopy,” Sandoval stated.

Assembly in particular person, Sandoval stated, is a good step individuals can take to raised make sure the transaction is not scammed. Nonetheless, even with private transactions, make it clear that fraud continues to be a risk. Due to this fact, Sandoval inspired anybody not sure of the legality of their on-line transactions to contact the division for help.

With all of the instruments at their disposal, Avon cops might be able to spot a rip-off extra simply than the common shopper, Sandoval stated.

“That is why we’re right here,” Sandoval stated. “Folks often assume we’re right here to arrest individuals or you realize, to pull them down, however actually, we’re right here to serve our neighborhood. So if our neighborhood wants assist checking if one thing is fraudulent, tell us. We are able to even look it up for you and test what whether or not it’s reliable or not.”

In the end, he stated, double-checking the legality of a deal beforehand can forestall individuals from dropping cash or entering into hassle.

For instance, Sandoval stated individuals who drive unintentionally with faux license plates are nonetheless aware of the penalty.

“I do know we have had a number of that right here these days locally, the place individuals are promoting faux plates to individuals who they assume are reliable,” Sandoval stated. “In the event you get caught driving a kind of, that is a cost even when you do not know, sadly. It is all the time good to cease individuals from entering into hassle they actually do not deserve. So if we may help with that, that will be nice.”

Even when individuals select to make on-line exchanges themselves, Sandoval stated, there are steps one can take to be smarter about fraud dangers.

“We all the time encourage individuals to do it in a public space the place there’s footage, you realize, video footage, the place it is well-lit,” Sandoval stated.

Plus, Sandoval stated it is a good suggestion to deliver one other particular person to fulfill.

“And in the event that they’re making it simpler at any level, in the event you really feel, you realize, it may be fraudulent, name (the Avon Police Division) and we’ll be more than pleased to reply and assist with that,” Sandoval stated.

Sandoval additionally beneficial that folks have a look at the particular person on the opposite finish of the display earlier than continuing with the exchanges.

“By no means shut a deal until you realize for positive what you are getting and that particular person is legit,” Sandoval stated. “Whenever you’re shopping for issues on-line, it is all the time a good suggestion to have a look at an individual’s profile, and have a look at critiques they may have from different occasions they’ve bought objects, or you realize details about.”

Sandoval stated that if the exchanges are arrange through Fb, it might be clever to test their profile for any crimson flags that may point out that the transaction may be fraudulent.

“Generally we now have fraudulent sellers who create faux Fb accounts and don’t have any associates, no pictures, they simply create an account to promote an merchandise, and as soon as the merchandise sells, they type of delete it and we haven’t any leads on it.”

It may also be a good suggestion to confirm somebody through video or FaceTime, Sandoval stated, earlier than sending cash to somebody on-line. Nonetheless, he stated once more, the best choice is all the time to fulfill in particular person in a well-lit public place.

“(If individuals occur to be) in (a) totally different company, totally different city, totally different county and wish to be sure that what they’re doing is reliable, we’re very welcome to come back to the Avon Police Division,” Sandoval stated. “You recognize, our neighborhood isn’t simply Avon.” Our neighborhood is the individuals right here in america. We serve anybody, so whoever is right here and wishes assist, simply tell us and we will make it simpler.”

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