Posted: Sep 23, 2022 7:00 AM
The Newtown Police Department has declared its parking lot a “safe redemption area for internet purchases.” A sign announcing it as such was recently installed.
Sergeant Will Chapman said on September 20 The Newtown Bee the department had “heard” that the community wanted something like this and decided to help fill the need. With many websites offering members of the public the ability to sell items and goods to each other, a way to securely exchange those goods for local pickup has become a growing need.
“Whenever there is something like this, there are people out there looking to take advantage of others,” Chapman said. “It’s a place where people can have an extra layer of security, instead of meeting a stranger in their own home or at the stranger’s place.”
Chapman noted that anyone looking to scam another person in an online sale may be hesitant to do so in the parking lot of a police station.
Additionally, the lot is constantly monitored, so camera evidence can be used to find anyone attempting a scam; in other places, the scammer might “disappear without a trace”.
Chapman also offered some advice on how to avoid being scammed online.
Always use your best judgment when making an online purchase.
When buying or selling, set terms that you are comfortable with. If someone tries to push you into a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, move on and take your things somewhere else.
Avoid having a stranger in your home; the best meeting places are public.
Beware if a seller tries to force you to use a payment form or payment app that you don’t know, or tries to charge you with gift cards.
Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at email@example.com.
Newtown Police Sgt. Will Chapman stands by a recently installed sign designating the Newtown Police Department parking lot as a secure clearing area for internet purchases. —Bee Photo, Taylor
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