Montrealers buying goods online from classified ads can now do so in greater safety. Montreal police have launched their first safe trading zone where people can finalize transactions that started online.
These so-called safe zones allow people to meet face-to-face to exchange goods bought and sold online in a space that is under camera surveillance.
The first one will be set up inside Montreal’s Police Station 20 — 1432 Sainte-Catherine West, near Bishop Street — and open 24 hours a day.
Other safe zones will roll out throughout 2020, according to Montreal police.
The project was launched in an attempt to prevent fraud, the police department said in a press release.
Châteauguay police established a similar initiative earlier this month.
“Everybody will be able to conduct their transaction, with people that are either unknown, or people that they know but are a little bit afraid of,” Châteauguay mayor, Pierre-Paul Routhier, told Global News at the time.
Montreal police advise anyone selling or buying goods online to avoid handing over money without first seeing the items, and to preferably meet in a public space, such as a safe trading zone. Police also recommend taking precautions to identify the seller.
“If an ad looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam,” police said.
Victims of fraud are encouraged to file an official complaint to their neighbourhood police station.