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Here’s What A Handshake Symbol On A Parking Space Means

Off The Record

Here’s What A Handshake Symbol On A Parking Space Means

In Pembroke, Ontario, certain parking spots now display a new symbols.

The areas outside the Pembroke OPP station at 77 International Dr. that display the handshake symbol are designed to serve as community safety zones for online transactions.

If you purchase something online 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 the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP.

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. Creating a ‘community safety zone’ is about moving online transactions away from secluded parking lots, personal residences or other areas and bringing them to a public place.”

There is no need for appointments; the secure trading locations will be open at all times.

“The local launch of Project Safe Trade comes at an ideal time with the busy holiday season upon us. Online property transactions are ever-increasing and the UOV OPP is proud to be launching a community safety initiative aimed at decreasing offences related to online marketplace transactions,” said Upper Ottawa Valley OPP detachment commander Steph Neufeld. “Collaborative approaches like Project Safe Trade can help to reduce harm and victimization in our communities.”

Const. Mike Mahon told CTV News that the areas also offer a means of assisting in preventing the potential of becoming a victim of fraud.

“The old adage, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Especially if you’re suggesting to meet here and they’re very reluctant, then that should set off a red flag for you,”  he stated.

According to the OPP, police will not function as witnesses, mediators, or providers of documents in relation to transactions. However, if an officer is called, they will come and only get involved if the transaction turns into a criminal case.

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

  • Gather in a crowded public area.
  • Bring a dependable friend or relative to serve as a witness.
  • Execute transactions in the daytime.
  • Never delete correspondence between you and the buyer/seller by text, voicemail, or email.

Everyone rushes around over the Christmas season, but it’s crucial to take a break and finish some homework, according to technology expert Carmi Levy.

“Do your due diligence on the person that claims to be selling it. Look into their background, see what other things they’ve sold, look for information on how other buyers have dealt with them in the past,” Levy said.

“Insist on seeing the actual device that you’re buying before you hand over any money. Insist that they power it on. Insist that you make sure it works before you pay for it.”

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