Please always take into consideration that if someone does not agree on meeting at the Police Station to finalize a commercial transaction, most surely, his intentions are not good.
By: Edda Pujadas
Technology has changed our lives and has transformed all market areas; one of the most noticeable changes has been the “new” electronic commerce. Every day more people prefer making all their purchases from the comfort of a computer rather than going out to the stores.
According to the internet portal “The Statistics,” in 2016 a total of 209.6 million people in the United States had made their purchases online and had searched products, compared prices or purchase merchandise online at least one time. It is projected that these figures will reach 230.5 million in 2021 positioning the United States as one of the main markets for electronic commerce.
Even when one of the main advantages of electronic commerce is that the purchased goods are sent to the place of preference of the purchaser, there are also many internet transactions that make it necessary for the buyer and seller to meet in order to exchange the goods and/or finalize the payment.
And, this is maybe one of the main risks of electronic commerce, after social engineering and identity theft. Taking all this into consideration, SafeTrade was born, a program to help finalize electronic commercial transactions to users of electronic classified ads in a safe way.
SafeTrade was launched in 2015 as the result of transactions originated in Craigslist and other sites for Classified ads, that ended in crime and aggression. According to SafeTrade, more than 100 people have been murdered after publishing or responding to publications from Craigslist.
SafeTrade clarifies that there is nothing wrong with Craigslist, they assure that this is an ideal site for electronic transactions and that the majority of Craigslist users are trustable and well-intentioned people; also the incidence of violent crimes is extremely low. Nevertheless, the safety of the users must be of utmost importance, and for this reason, SafeTrade recommends taking certain precautions when doing commercial exchanges that are the result of online transactions.
The main recommendation of SafeTrade is to meet in safe places. They explain that hundreds of Police Departments in the United States are offering safe police stations that allow commercial exchanges, limiting in this way the occurrence of crime.
A SAFER WAY OF DOING IT
The Police Departments around the country are encouraging sellers and buyers to meet in their facilities to exchange goods. The Doral Police Department is not the exception; Officer Rey Valdes informed us that they are restarting this program which was implemented several years ago.
“Why not go to the Police Station to guarantee that the commercial exchange is safer for all the persons involved?”, argues Valdes. “Definitely, if someone opposes meeting at the Police Station, this is clear evidence that something wrong might be happening.”
Officer Valdes explains that the Doral Police Department does not limit this service to electronic transactions, the service is extended to any type of encounter that could imply an inadequate reaction on any of the parts involved, for example, divorced parents that do not get along and must meet to exchange their children.
Valdes clarified that to use this program, the residents do not need an appointment, they need to go to the Doral Police Station located at 6100 NW 99th Avenue in the City of Doral and inform the Officer in charge that they need to conduct a transaction in a safe place.
The people will then be able to use the lobby of the Doral Police Department building to conduct their transaction. “It is important to make clear that none of our officers will get involved or take part in the negotiation, the only thing that we are offering is a safe structure, a refuge where you can conduct certain activities without the risk of being assaulted or mugged.”
This Doral Police Department Safe Spot will be open seven days a week, including holidays, from 9 am to 9 pm. “Our Neighborhood Community Officers are informing the HOAs, Condos, schools, etc. about this program, we are also promoting this service through the press and social media, the idea is that people use this service and to minimize in this way the risks of electronic commerce.”
Other safety recommendations at the time to make electronic transactions are to notify a friend or family member about the location where you are going to meet and with whom are you meeting, to have your cellular phone fully charged in order to be able to ask for help in case needed and also, not to go alone.