Michael J. d’Entremont
Chief of Police
600 High St.
Dedham, MA 02026
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Dedham Police Warn Residents to Use Caution When Buying or Selling Online
DEDHAM – Chief Michael d’Entremont and the Dedham Police Department are reminding residents of the dangers of conducting business online after a locked shed in a resident’s back yard was broken into after they posted a Craigslist advertisement.
On Tuesday, Dedham Police received a report of a stolen dirt bike which had been advertised on Craigslist. After the item was posted, the bike was stolen from the homeowner’s shed. This was not the first time a criminal incident was linked to e-commerce in Dedham.
To avoid situations like this in the future, Dedham Police offer the following tips for safely buying and selling online:
- If you’re selling, don’t photograph the item with your house easily identifiable in the photo, especially if you’re selling high-value items. Additionally, do not list your address in the post.
- Never meet someone alone – bring a friend with you.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going.
- Take your cell phone with you.
- Always arrange to meet in a well-lit public place.
- Avoid having strangers come to your house or go to a stranger’s house.
- Be suspicious if the buyer/seller refuses to meet at a public place or changes the agreed-upon meeting place.
- Don’t accept personal checks or money orders.
- Trust your instincts – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Dedham Police Department along with other Town officials are looking into the feasibility of establishing a town “Online Safe Zone” for residents to safely conduct online sales or purchases.
A “Safe Zone” is a publicly recognized space – usually near the local police department or town hall – aimed at facilitating a secure meeting place for residents to meet strangers and complete online transactions on websites like Craigslist.
“As a public safety agency, we recognize how many people conduct online business these days, and we want to do all that we can do to prevent people from becoming victims,” Chief d’Entremont said. “Residents should remember that their safety – as well as the safety of others – should come first when buying, selling, or meeting someone met over the internet.”