December 3, 2019
What is project safe trade?
Online classified and auction sites are often used as tools to sell stolen property to unknowing victims and can present a safety threat. In order to increase public safety and reduce crime, the Ontario Provincial Police is inviting members of the public to use their OPP detachment parking lot to facilitate property transactions arranged online.
Safe Trade Checklist
- Meet in a busy public place
- Meet in person to inspect the product
- Bring a trusted friend or family member along as a witness
- Bring a cell phone in case you need to call for help
- If you must go alone, tell a friend or family member when and where you are meeting someone
- Keep transactions to daylight hours
- Don’t invite a stranger into your home. It allows them access to the layout of your house, gives them information regarding alarm systems/dogs and provides a chance to see any valuables you may have
- Never tell your schedule to a stranger. They do not need to know when you will not be home
- Don’t erase any emails, texts or voicemails between yourself and the seller or buyer
- Keep things local. Never mail a cheque or wire money to sellers
- Do not give out personal or banking information (social insurance number, bank account number etc)
Statistics tell us that only 5% of internet or telephone scams/frauds/thefts are reported. Many incidents go unreported due to shame or embarrassment on the part of the victim.
How Can The Community Help?
We need community partners; citizens and neighbors; agencies and police to mobilize for community safety and well-being. Collaborative approaches reduce harm and victimization with the goal of developing long term sustainable solutions.
How Can Project Safe Trade Help?
Creating a “community safe zone” in police detachment parking lots is about moving online marketplace transactions away from secluded parking lots or private residences and bringing them into public places.
What is the Role of the Police?
Under normal circumstances there will be no police intervention. Officers will not mediate private transactions, will not provide documentation and will not be a witness to a transaction. However, should one of the parties request an officer, one will respond. Officers will only intervene if the transaction becomes a bylaw, provincial or criminal matter.
- OPP will be unable to assist in negotiating civil property transactions.
- OPP won’t guarantee the quality or authenticity of items purchased online.
- OPP members cannot use the Police computer system to run model numbers, serial numbers, etc. of items that are part of a private exchange. Citizens are encouraged to use the Canadian Police Information Centre’s online database to search serial numbers of items they are looking to purchase at www.cpic-cipc.ca.