NEW CANAAN — As the rise of e-commerce continues, police are taking measures to ensure residents’ safety as they purchase items online.

New Canaan is joining other departments by declaring the parking lot and lobby of its headquarters an e-commerce “safe zone.”

The safe zone will serve as an area for residents to meet up to complete transactions from online purchases. Officers are usually present in both areas and both spots are under 24-hour video surveillance.

Police said they will not be involved in any of these transactions, but they encourage residents to conduct online purchases there, as it is a safe public location.

In October 2016, Darien police set up a similar safe location in their parking lot. While police do not monitor the transactions occurring there or have a sense of how many have been conducted, they said it has been a useful addition to the community so far.

“It’s hard to place a number on it, but officers report citizens using the location regularly,” said Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron. “ I’ve seen and heard of transactions that happen there weekly. To date, it has worked seamlessly from the police department’s perspective.”

More Information

Tips for buying online

Ask as many questions as you can before going to buy the product. If the seller can’t answer your questions, there is a good chance that they do not actually have the product and it could be a scam.

Criminals often offer to sell/buy expensive items. Use extreme caution when making these deals.

Don’t buy from sellers who only list an email address.

Don’t go alone.

If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you arrive at the predetermined meeting place and the seller asks to go to another place, don’t.

Never post online information which can lead back to your residence.

Never wire funds.

Pay for and request payments in cash. Using a check gives your personal information.

Remove any geotags from images before posting.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata