By Max Conway
Mayor of Dunmore
This month I am thrilled to announce that our “Safe Transfer Zone” is up and running outside our Police Department on Blakely Street! With the increasing number of online sales, it is important to remain vigilant while conducting online business.
A safe transfer zone is a place where people involved in online transactions (Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, etc.) can meet SAFELY and exchange goods in a secured and monitored location. In addition to online transactions, it is also a place where you can safely handle child custody transfers and other domestic matters. A huge “thank you” to our Police Department for making this idea a reality!
Here are some tips for staying safe when buying and selling online:
• Meet at a police station or a location with a safe exchange zone under the watch of surveillance cameras. Do not jeopardize your safety for the sake of convenience.
• Do NOT accept a last-second change in location under any circumstance. This is a common tactic used to lure people to potentially dangerous areas.
• Be cautious of high-value items (current phones or laptops) that have a “too good to be true” list price. Sellers may use the low price as a reason for you to have to accommodate them, and meet them in a questionable location.
• Always try to bring an extra person when buying or selling.
• Keep all communication with the buyer/seller on the app. Do not give your personal information. It is best if the conversation is linked to all accounts involved.
• Use the app to look at the profile of the buyer/seller. Does the service offer a verified status? If it’s Facebook, is it a new profile with little to no information? Craigslist works with almost total anonymity and offers the fewest safeguards.
• If possible, do not use cash. Apps such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash have made securely transferring money possible. Carrying cash is a liability and could set you up to be a victim of a violent crime.