If you are buying holiday gifts through an online marketplace or selling items online to earn some extra cash this holiday season, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. wants to remind you of a safe place to meet up with your neighbors to complete these transactions.
To help protect citizens from theft and assault often associated with online transactions, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office created two Safe Transaction Zones designed to safeguard residents from various crimes
associated with social media marketplace buying and selling. The safe transaction zones are located at the Sheriff’s Office at 100 Center Drive in Riverhead, and at the Yaphank Facility at 202 Glover Drive. Both are clearly marked with red and white signs and are in full view of on-duty Deputy Sheriffs.
Residents are encouraged to use the marked areas as a place to meet for in-person exchanges of online
purchases. Please note, Sheriff’s deputies will not participate in the exchanges or act as official witnesses in transactions. Most purchase agreements and transactions are civil matters. However, with deputies nearby, the area will be safer for buyers and sellers. Residents are encouraged to use the area during daylight hours and will not have to schedule an appointment with the Sheriff’s Office.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when conducting such transactions:
• Do not go to a transaction alone
• Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details
• Insist on meeting in a public area like the Sheriff’s Office’s safe transaction zones
• Do not go into someone else’s house, and do not allow them into yours
• Complete the transaction during daylight hours
• Be extra cautious when buying or selling valuable items such as vehicles and jewelry
• Only use cash or money orders to complete your transactions
• Trust your instincts, if it sounds like a scam it probably is
• If someone is not willing to come to the Sheriff’s Office to do a transaction it is probably not a legitimate transaction.