A new symbol is showing up on some parking spaces!

In Pembroke, Ontario, several parking spaces now bear a new insignia.

The areas outside the Pembroke OPP station at 77 International Dr. that have been marked with the handshake symbol are meant to serve as community safety zones for online transactions.

According to the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP, if you make an online purchase and need to meet someone in person to pay for it or pick it up, there are locations you may use to guarantee everyone’s safety.

According to an OPP news release, “Project Safe Trade aims to establish a ‘community safety zone’ at an OPP detachment parking lot to facilitate online property transactions.” The idea behind establishing a “community safety zone” is to shift online transactions from private spaces like parking lots and residences to public areas.

Appointments are not necessary; the secure trade places are always open.

“With the busy holiday season approaching, this is the perfect time for the local launch of Project Safe Trade.” Steph Neufeld, commander of the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP detachment, said, “Online property transactions are on the rise, and the UOV OPP is pleased to be initiating a community safety initiative aimed at decreasing offences related to online marketplace transactions.” “We can reduce victimization and harm in our communities by putting Project Safe Trade into practice along with other cooperative strategies.”

Const. Mike Mahon claims that the locations also offer a means of preventing oneself from becoming a victim of fraud, as CTV News stated.

This is where the proverb “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” comes in handy. He advised you to be careful, particularly if they are acting extremely hesitantly when you invite them to meet here.

According to the OPP, officers would not provide documents, participate as arbitrators, or function as transactional witnesses. An officer will only respond and get involved if the transaction turns into a criminal inquiry, even if they are called.

There are alternative ways to keep secure while meeting strangers online for financial transactions if you decide not to use the locations.

Assemble in a busy public space.
Bring along a trustworthy friend or family member to act as a witness.
Complete transactions during the day.
Never erase any emails, voicemails, or texts you exchanged with the buyer or seller.
Technology expert Carmi Levy says that although everyone runs around over the Christmas season, it’s important to take a pause and accomplish some homework.

Look into the person who is claiming to be the seller in great detail. Levy was urged to look into their past, see what other things they had sold, and learn about the interactions that prior buyers had with them.

“Make sure you see the actual equipment you are buying before you spend any money. Ensure that they activate it. Verify that it works properly before making a purchase.

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