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  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dallas, , , texas   

    Are safe exchange zones effective? 

    Are safe exchange zones effective?

    In the wake of the multitude of violent crimes that have been committed through sites like craigslist and apps like OfferUp, a number of police departments across the country have set up safe exchange zones for people to have a safer environment to make transactions. For example, each ad on Geebo contains a link to the SafeTrade Stations initiative which contains a list of all participating police departments across the country. In the Dallas, Texas area, a number of police departments created safe exchange areas after too many high-profile crimes took place where the criminals used classifieds sites or apps to find their victims.

    More recently, another murder has sadly taken place in the Dallas area where the victim was using a classifieds app to try to purchase a cell phone. This has caused Dallas news station WFAA to ask if the safe exchange zones are having any effect to which police departments in North Texas say that the effect has been mixed. A representative of the Arlington Police Department had the following to say on the matter.

    “We know people are utilizing it but unfortunately you still have that segment of the population that is still kind of trusting other individuals and meeting them offsite,” Lt. Christopher Cook said. We still have a lot of our robberies occurring at nighttime unlit places and untraveled locations.”

    A tool is only as good as the person who is using it. If people aren’t using the exchange zones it’s difficult to ascertain their true effectiveness. It seems more like the problem isn’t the zones themselves but the education and publicizing of these zones.

     
  • Geebo 10:31 am on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Houston, , , texas   

    Backpage facing yet another trafficking lawsuit 

    Backpage facing yet another trafficking lawsuit

    In the past year or so, a number of lawsuits have been filed against Backpage, the site that tries to disguise itself as a classifieds site but makes most of its money off of sex trafficking ads. Some of these lawsuits have come from families whose daughters were killed in the sex trafficking trade. Others have come from women who were trafficked while underage on Backpage. The one thing that all these lawsuits have in common is that Backpage took money for these ads while knowing exactly what they were for.

    Most recently, Backpage is being sued by an 18-year-old woman from Houston, Texas. She says that she was 15 when she was advertised on Backpage. Her lawsuit alleges that Backpage knowingly edited ads to hide evidence of child sex trafficking. This is the basis of most of the recent lawsuits against Backpage as a Congressional investigative committee found evidence that Backpage was allegedly actively editing their ads in this manner. Due to the findings of that investigation, Backpage has settled at least one lawsuit filed against them by trafficking victims.

    Since Congress has been dragging their feet on providing any kind of real legislative protection for Backpage’s trafficking victims, maybe hitting them in their pockets for millions of dollars in settlements will finally make Backpage realize that it’s not worth it being in the business of selling people.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car theft ring, , Hosuton, , texas   

    Craigslist and OfferUp used in multi-state car theft ring 

    Craigslist and OfferUp used in multi-state car theft ring

    Recently, 16 people from the Houston, Texas, area have been arrested for allegedly running a multi-state car theft ring that netted them over $1 million. The crew would use fake IDs to rent cars from rental car services and would then sell these cars states away. They were able to sell the cars through unmoderated classifieds.

    The suspects are said to have used both craigslist, which is no surprise, and classifieds app OfferUp to sell these cars to unsuspecting buyers. A number of the suspects were caught after they had bragged about their crimes on social media. It’s unknown what has happened to the money given to the suspects by buyers, but if history is any indicator, it will be a long time before they may see any of it again.

    This is the problem with unmoderated classifieds. When cars are being sold for ridiculously low prices it should be a red flag to any site or app that deals in car sales. If the price is too good to be true, many times it’s either stolen or the car doesn’t even exist. Precautions could be put in place by these sites and apps, but it seems they’d rather not spend the money to help ensure a better customer experience.

     
  • Geebo 10:59 am on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , texas, vending machine   

    Would you buy a car from a vending machine? 

    Would you buy a car from a vending machine?

    Are you the kind of person who hates to shop for a car? Do you hate having to deal with salespeople who you know are trying to rip you off just to make a big commission? Do you wish you could just press the buttons of E and 5 and have the car of your choice of produced magically in front of you? Well now you can.

    AN online car dealership has opened what they call a car vending machine in Austin, Texas. The structure is a five-story tall glass structure that houses 30 cars. However the term vending machine is a bit of a misnomer. You still have to finance and make your actual selection through the dealership’s website, however when you go to pick up your vehicle they give a giant novelty coin to put in the machine to get your car.

    Thankfully, it’s not like an actual vending machine. Could you imagine having to lug $30,000 or more in quarters only to find out that you’re a few dollars short. Then you take out the crumpled bills in your pocket and try to straighten them out against the change machine only to have your selection of vehicle get stuck in the machine that has a sign that says ‘no refunds’? That would actually be worse than dealing with a sales person.

     
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