Internet shopping exchanges can be sketchy, Jacksonville police have a way to make it safe

The Jacksonville Police Department is trying to make internet shopping exchanges much easier — and safer — for Jacksonville residents with a special parking spot designated for the activity.

A recent Facebook post from Jacksonville Public Safety reminded local residents that the Center for Public Safety has a reserved spot in the parking lot that is monitored by cameras for purchase exchanges. As the holiday season approaches, which will likely see an increase in such trading, the department wants residents to be mindful when buying and selling goods/services, especially online.

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As evidenced by the comments on the Facebook post, many residents had no idea this parking spot was even a thing, but several of them said it was a great idea.

“The idea of ​​having the internet exchange parking spot at the Center for Public Safety originated circa 2016,” Jacksonville police said in an email. “Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of people buying and selling goods online through platforms such as Craigslist, Lejeune Yard Sales and the debut of Facebook Marketplace. With more people buying and selling goods online, some nefarious activity has occurred as people run scams or steal money or property from others to make a profit.In response, Jacksonville police thought it would be a good idea to provide a safe space for local citizens to exchange goods.

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Since the space was created, JPD said it has seen residents use it. While the department does not plan to mark any additional spaces in the lot, they said most of the Center for Public Safety parking lot is videotaped. So those unable to use that exact location can still park nearby and be covered by a camera accessing the area.

The Center for Public Safety lobby is also open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. JPD said this space is also monitored.

“Having safe spaces like the one at the Center for Public Safety helps deter those with nefarious intentions from carrying out criminal activity related to the buying and selling of goods and online,” said JPD. “With the holidays approaching, more and more people will be shopping online and in person. Many people use public spaces to trade goods, but these areas can be very crowded and not always supervised. internet exchange at the Center for Public Safety is monitored and has a focused camera on site.”

The Jacksonville Police Department’s Investigative Services Division has guidance for all residents looking to buy and sell goods and/or services to others.

For those paying online, investigators recommend using a widely accepted payment method and not creating new payment accounts that you don’t already use easily and trust. Where possible, the ministry says you should view the item in person to ensure it is as advertised or still available, which they say is especially true for advertised homes.

Finally, the department urges residents not to prepay for promised goods or services.

For more information on the Internet Exchange Point or for safety tips, visit the Jacksonville Public Safety Facebook page or call the department at 910-455-4000.

Journalist Morgan Starling can be reached at [email protected]

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