Photo shows an NYPD sign reading 'E-Commerce Exchange Zone.'
Keeping neighbors safe while buying or selling through online listings, the Upper East Side now hosts an NYPD E-Commerce Exchange Zone | Upper East Site

NYPD Rolls Out UES ‘E-Commerce Exchange Zone’ to Prevent Robberies & Scams 🆓

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Making the neighborhood safer, the Upper East Side is now home to one of the NYPD’s E-Commerce Exchange Zones, where community members can go to buy and sell goods with people they meet on online marketplaces, with peace of mind they won’t be assaulted, robbed or scammed by a stranger.

“[It’s] this great new preventive measure to protect people when they’re doing any kind of online transactions,” Detective Anthony Nuccio, Digital Communications & Crime Prevention Officer for the 19th Precinct, told Upper East Site in an interview. “There are a lot of internet scams that formulate during sales, either buying or selling online.”

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A sign on an iron fence in front of a building
The 19th Precinct’s E-Commerce Exchange Zone is located in front of the station house at 153 East 67th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues | Upper East Site

Created to provide New Yorkers with a safe, well-lit and security camera-monitored space to conduct transactions, the E-Commerce Exchange Zones are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, located on the Upper East Side directly outside the NYPD’s 19th Precinct station house at 153 East 67th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues.

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Simply arrange to meet with the buyer or seller in front of the sign. There is no need to make an appointment, check in with the officers at the front desk, or enter the building at all because multiple security cameras cover the Zone at all times, and in case something goes wrong, cops are just steps away, Det. Nuccio, 41, explained.

A scaffold-covered police precinct in a row of buildings
There is no need to make an appointment to use the 19th Precinct’s E-Commerce Exchange Zone | Upper East Site

“Our goal with this is just to make sure that every resident of the Upper East Side, every resident of the city of New York, knows about it and continues utilizing it,” Det. Nuccio said.

With the Upper East Side’s program launching last November, there is now an E-Commerce Exchange Zone at each of the City’s 77 police precincts; all 12 transit districts, which patrol the subways; and all nine Public Service Areas at public housing complexes.

“And with these 98 locations, there’s one in every neighborhood now,” he added, excited that something so simple, yet with such great potential, has been implemented across the city.

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As a Crime Prevention Officer, Det. Nuccio’s assignment, among other tasks like running the 19th Precinct’s popular X account, is to speak to vulnerable populations about scams and targeted crimes.

A security camera mounted on a building between two windows
The E-Commerce Exchange Zones are monitored by security cameras 24/7, with officers just steps away | Upper East Site

“[I] try to get the word out about how these scams are evolving and how technology is constantly evolving, and scammers using that to take advantage of community members,” he said.

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The detective explained that robbery and deception — where a seller presents counterfeit money, a different product than what was advertised, or something defective — are the most common crimes associated with online transactions like those conducted through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and other platforms.

With reported robberies up 14.3% in the 19th Precinct this year so far over the same period in 2023, according to NYPD data, crime prevention is top-of-mind for many in the neighborhood.

A police officer handing a pamphlet to a woman
Crime Prevention Officer Det. Nuccio (left) educates Upper East Siders on how to stay safe | NYPD’s 19th Precinct

In the five months that the sign has been up, “We’ve seen some safe transactions take place right outside the precinct. So we know it’s being utilized, we know it’s working,” Det. Nuccio said. “Every time I talk about it, everyone’s like, ‘Wow, that’s a great idea. Glad it’s being implemented in New York.’”

ALSO READ | New Gift Card Scam Targets Last-Minute Shoppers: NYPD

While the Exchange Zone gives Upper East Siders a safe place to meet, there are some things neighbors should keep in mind, the detective added.

A window reading "19th Precinct" and "Police"
Neighbors should always trust their instincts and be cautious when exchanging goods with online buyers and sellers, police say | Upper East Site

“If they don’t want to come to that precinct, they don’t want to exchange outside of a precinct, then that’s a huge red flag that maybe that transaction is not something you want to be involved in,” he said.

When arranging to meet in-person with anyone you contact online for a purchase or sale, don’t reveal any unnecessary personal information, bring a buddy, and make sure someone knows where you’re going, Det. Nuccio cautioned.

“Trust your instincts and let common sense prevail.”

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