Online sales safe zone now set up at Cranston Police

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — These days, selling your used things online locally, especially if it’s a large item, in person, requires you meeting a total stranger. The Cranston Police Department has now joined Pawtucket in creating an “E-commerce Safe Zone” at the department’s headquarters lobby and visitor parking lot.

“The goal… is to prevent crimes that could potentially occur when individuals engage in online transactions with strangers,” said Cranston Police Capt. Vincent McAteer in a news release Wednesday.

He cited two recent incidents reported to Cranston Police where someone who was selling something online got robbed of their items at the purchase meeting.

The safe zone has surveillance video monitoring, and is available for use by members of the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don’t need to notify police or “check in” before using the space.

While officers will be aware of commerce taking place, they will not be monitoring transactions — or mediating civil disputes.

Among the safety tips the department recommends:

  • Don’t make a transaction alone
  • Tell a third party you’re going to have a transaction
  • Meet in a public place
  • Don’t go to someone’s home or invite them to yours
  • Take cash or money orders for the transaction
  • Conduct the transaction during the daytime

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