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Not only are there consumer scams floating around on auction and ad websites like Craigslist, but criminals as well. And as 'Craigslist Crimes' keep piling up, local police forces are looking for ways to keep people safe.
One way is by using secure Internet purchase exchange locations. The brainchild of Bellingham, Massachusetts police, these safe spots can provide buyers and sellers with some security when it comes to actually exchanging goods and money. So how do they work?
Better in the Bay State
We'll let the Bellingham PD Facebook page explain:
Massachusetts has been on the forefront of setting up internet purchase exchange locations: there's also one in Wayland.
Canny Craigslist Customers
Taking advantage of secure purchase exchange locations is just one way to keep yourself safe when buying and selling online. Buyers should only deal locally with people they can meet in person, and keep these meetings to public locations. And online purchasers should never buy anything sight-unseen. Sellers should steer clear of checks or money orders, which can be faked, leaving you responsible for the counterfeit.
Both buyers and sellers avoid divulging too much personal information, especially bank account numbers or credit card numbers. And, the Bellingham PD's advice can go both ways: "don't meet strangers at private residences or in areas that you are unfamiliar with."
And if you've been the victim of a Craigslist scam or a crime involving an online sale, you should contact an experienced consumer protection attorney to discuss your case.