March is Fraud Prevention Month and Wellington County OPP wrapped the awareness campaign on a high note by launching Project Safe Trade.
Project Safe Trade, which has been adopted by other OPP detachments, is were designated parking spots outside a detachment are set aside for members of the public conducting an in person transaction from an online purchase. For example, someone buying a used phone on Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace or an online auction could arrange to hand over the product at any one of the three Wellington County OPP detachments; Teviotdale, Aboyne or Rockwood.
Officers will not take part in the transaction and no appointment is necessary. The location of the signage is optimal so criminals who might want to take advantage of a customer will be discouraged from doing so, knowing they are at a police detachment. Naturally, should there be a need for police assistance due to safety issues, the public can contact police. Best practice is to bring a friend with you whenever conducting these transactions. If you must go alone, advise a friend or family member where and when you will be meeting someone. It is also a good idea to hold on to all email, text and voicemail communications in the event that the transaction sours.
The launch was marked by members of the Ontario Provincial Police, County of Wellington, Safe Communities Wellington County, and Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (CSGW). As community safety and crime prevention partners, CSGW was delighted to be part of the launch and urges the community to utilize Project Safe Trade for all of their transactions and to ensure these encounters are safely conducted during daylight hours.
For more information on Project Safe Trade, click here.