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Safe Exchange Place

Internet services such as Craigslist are an increasingly quick and convenient way to buy and sell items. However, we often hear stories of people who have been victimized after setting up a sale through the website. The item being sold could be fake or broken, the cash being used could be counterfeit, or the check written could be bogus. There have been real estate scams offering fictional rentals, foreign scams offering more than your selling price, fake job scams, and fake ticket scams. Assaults, robberies, and murders have also occurred during these transactions.

The Westfield Police Department urges its residents to be cautious when buying and selling on Craigslist or similar sites. Trust your instincts and always meet in a public place. Since 2015, the Westfield Police Department has offered a “Safe Place” at the Public Safety building, located at 17535 Dartown Rd, for transactions. The lobby is open during business hours, Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 4:00 pm and our front foyer is open 24/7. If you do become a victim of a crime, report it to the police immediately via 911 or dispatch at 317-773-1300. Also, report all suspected fraudulent Craigslist ads by flagging the post as prohibited or at craigslist.org/contact.

With this in mind, the Westfield Police Department would like to offer the following safety tips and reminders to help avoid scams and protect yourself when using Craigslist. Some of these are directly from the “Craigslist Best Practices” off Craigslist.com.

  • Always deal locally with the person so you can meet them in person.
    • Many scams begin with a “seller,” “landlord,” or “employer” who is based out of state or out of the country and is unable to deal with you directly. • Never rent housing without seeing it first; never purchase expensive items sight-unseen.
  • Never submit to a credit check or background check for a job or house listed on Craigslist until you have met the interviewer or landlord in person. • Avoid jobs that ask you to send them money. This is always a scam.
  • Never give out your financial information (PayPal, bank account, etc.) or social security number.
  • Never wire funds via Western Union, Money Gram or any other wire service.
  • Know that fake cashier’s checks and money orders are common. Banks will cash them and then hold you responsible for the money.
  • Never accept one that is for more money and then give back “change”! This is a common scam!
  • Craigslist does not provide “buyer protection” or “seller certification.”
    • Only a scammer will “guarantee” your transaction.
  • Be especially careful when buying/selling high-value items.
  • Do your research!
    • Know about the item or vehicle you’re buying, how to tell if it is fake, or if it’s priced correctly.
    • Check whether the pictures included are downloaded from the Internet. Copy the link to the image and search it in Google Images.
    • Make sure the landlord really owns the house. If it’s an apartment or condo, you can call the related association or property management company. If it’s a home, you can search property records for the area.
  • If you are buying tickets, know what your ticket should look like. Ask for proof of purchase.
    • If you’re buying tickets through the mail, don’t pay the entire amount up front. Offer to pay half up front, half when received. Put everything in writing, including the seller’s information. Ask that the tickets are sent with a tracking number.
  • Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services. Many scammers will use a spoof email that mimics a legitimate site and escrow account but is really fake.
    • If you are buying a high-priced item where an escrow service is suggested, pick it yourself. Never allow the seller to pick and never do business with a company you’ve never heard of.
  • Be certain you are on the authentic Craigslist site. Spoof sites have been created that look exactly like Craigslist but are only designed to take your money. The official website is http://www.craigslist.org/; anything other than that is not real.
  • Insist on a public meeting place, like a restaurant or the Public Safety Building.
  • Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home. If you must meet at your residence, do not let them inside and do not be alone to meet them – invite a friend, relative, or neighbor over to assist.
  • Tell a friend or family member where you’re going to meet someone you contacted through Craigslist and take someone with you – Never meet them alone!
  • Take your cellphone along with you.

Here are some additional resources regarding scams on Craigslist:

http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams

http://www.moneycrashers.com/types-common-craigslist-scams/

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Scams-on-Craigslist

These websites have general internet safety information, including how to avoid scams:

http://www.onguardonline.gov/

http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety

Contact Us

Joel Rush
Joel D. Rush,
Chief of Police
  • Phone: (317) 804-3200
  • Fax: (317) 804-3210
  • Staff Directory
  • Office Hours:
    7:30am-4:00pm, Mon-Fri
    Last Wednesday of every month, opens at 9 AM

    Dispatch (317) 773-1300

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4 days ago

Westfield Police Department - Indiana

UPDATE TravelWestfield: Widespread power outages being reported. All lights on State Road 32 are out. Our team is working to keep up. Public safety and road crews say conditions are very poor. ... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

I am a little nervous. My 18 year old went to work this afternoon and has to drive back home tonight. Do you know how keystone and 31 are now?

4 days ago

Westfield Police Department - Indiana

Hamilton County is increasing the travel advisory to a watch due to deteriorating road conditions, brutal winds, and forecasted near blizzard conditions. Only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended. ... See moreSee less

4 days ago

Westfield Police Department - Indiana

We are salting neighborhoods as quickly & safely as possible. We will have to pull out when primaries need attention again. Please stay in if you can. The roads are starting to turn and have the potential to get bad quickly. #TravelWestfield ... See moreSee less

UPDATE 1/19/2019

As a result of our initial investigation, which includes witness accounts, it is believed that this fatal accident was the result of an aggressive driver. The driver, was also reported as operating the vehicle, a silver SUV, over the posted speed limit. Additionally, the deceased and the most severely injured person were reported as being occupants of this vehicle. All of the other injured were released from nearby hospitals. The family of the deceased male was notified. He is thirty-three year old Anthony Harrington, of Kokomo, Indiana.

This accident remains an ongoing investigation.

Contact: Michael Wheeler
Email: mwheeler@westfield.in.gov
Office: 317-804-3200
Dispatch: 317-773-1300
Incident Type: Fatal vehicle crash
Incident Date and Time: January 18, 2019 at 8:37pm
Location: State Road 32 @ Willow Creek Way Case Number : 2019-00001453

On 1/18/2019 at approximately 8:37pm, Westfield Police and Fire Departments along with other agencies, responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash with injury in the area of E SR 32 and Willow Creek Way. Upon arrival, officers found three vehicles were involved in a collision.

One adult male vehicle occupant was pronounced dead at the scene, and several others were transported to area hospitals.
Investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the crash and make proper notifications to family members of the victims. Therefore, more information may be released after proper notifications are made.
... See moreSee less

UPDATE 1/19/2019 

As a result of our initial investigation, which includes witness accounts, it is believed that this fatal accident was the result of an aggressive driver. The driver, was also reported as operating the vehicle, a silver SUV, over the posted speed limit. Additionally, the deceased and the most severely injured person were reported as being occupants of this vehicle. All of the other injured were released from nearby hospitals. The family of the deceased male was notified. He is thirty-three year old Anthony Harrington, of Kokomo, Indiana.

This accident remains an ongoing investigation.

Contact: Michael Wheeler 
Email: mwheeler@westfield.in.gov 
Office: 317-804-3200 
Dispatch: 317-773-1300 
Incident Type: Fatal vehicle crash  
Incident Date and Time: January 18, 2019 at 8:37pm  
Location: State Road 32 @ Willow Creek Way   Case Number : 2019-00001453 

On 1/18/2019 at approximately 8:37pm, Westfield Police and Fire Departments along with other agencies, responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash with injury in the area of E SR 32 and Willow Creek Way. Upon arrival, officers found three vehicles were involved in a collision.

One adult male vehicle occupant was pronounced dead at the scene, and several others were transported to area hospitals.
Investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the crash and make proper notifications to family members of the victims. Therefore, more information may be released after proper notifications are made.

 

Comment on Facebook

The city and state need to deal with that entire section of 32 NOW. Until you take care of the road problems, quit building huge commercial spaces. People are parking on 32 and getting out of their cars to go to the brewery with little to no parking. Someone will get hit, it is just a matter of time. To those involved in the accident last night, and their families as well, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

The change in speed limit has helped sooo much especially if you are turning the opposite direction out of anywhere along that stretch... i have to do it daily. Problem is not everyone is driving the correct speed limit 😞 I’ve had many Really ‘upset’ people behind me while I’m going the 30 miles an hour. Just the other day someone was right on my tail then passed me approaching east street. Pedal to the metal and pulling into the other lane (head on collision) waiting to happen. He was soo mad I was going 30mph. Reckless driving is unacceptable ....Heartfelt Prayers for the innocent families involved... 🙏

Can someone remove Jose Beyer from all of Facebook?

So nothing about anyone being drunk like Jose stated last night?

Praying for all involved. Thank you to all of our responders!!

It was a horrific accident...I was right in front of it working... there is no way this car involved was going the speed limit!!!!

many people drive too fast on 32. our family has had two vehicles hit that were parked along it between union amd cherry. one was mine and while i was putting my young child in the car seat. that drive jjst kept on going! i was scared and mad. my car is still damaged cuz the police never found the person... even though they had a piece of that car with a serial number on it. i think westfield pd needs to step up their game and patrol that area more and stop speeders. i also think the state needs to put a light at cherry and union. very dangerous intersection. i own a business there and ever since field was put in it has been horrible. the increased traffic and vehicles is very dangerous Ashley Kirpal Singh almost got hit recently trying to cross the road there.

Teresa Howard isn’t this your entrance?

It's not on all the police and the city, state, county to fix these problems it's also up to the driver's to not get out here on the roadways and just drive however you want to. I've watched tons of people just completely go too fast 5 mph over is one thing but 15-20mph over. People are getting a little out of hand and need to learn to slow it down and follow the speed limits. I mean grow up folks and be adults not acting like 16 year olds behind the wheel who just got their driving license.

Prayers

Jade Delacey Dean

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