Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg
Photo from: OPP
If you’re wary about online buying or selling, don’t fear, the Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have thought of an idea to put people’s minds at ease when it comes to online property transactions.
This week they launched a community safety initiative called, project safe trade, and the purpose of it is to create community safe zone parking spaces for people to facilitate buy and sell transactions safely.
Constable Kirk MacDonald with the Wellington County OPP said so far, there are approximately 12 OPP detachments across the province that have project safe trade, and several others that have the project in the works.
“I think part of the issue is that we’re seeing more and more fraud related occurrences particularly because of the pandemic and a lot of people are alone in front of computers looking for alternative ways to buy and sell, but unfortunately criminals are also taking advantage of that,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald said there are two designated safe zone parking spaces at each of their OPP detachment buildings in the county.
“So, the idea is that if people decide to arrange for a meet to do a transaction, they will come to one of our buildings, preferably during day light hours, this way the buyer has an opportunity to see the product, to inspect it and do the exchange in person,” MacDonald said.
He said it’s never a good idea to meet a stranger at your house because you never know who you are dealing with.
“We tell our kids to not talk to strangers, yet people are doing online deals and then having somebody come and step inside your house who you’ve never met before, and you don’t know who you are dealing with, and most people are good but it could potentially be a criminal and this gives them an opportunity to see the layout of your house,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald said it also gives them an opportunity to see whether or not someone has a security system or dogs in their home and if any valuables are in plain sight.
He added the OPP hopes the safe zone parking spaces deter people from doing online transactions in their homes or secluded parking lots.