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Main Line Businesses Band Together Online Against Criminals

(Surveillance video captured the images of two "persons of interest" in an alleged fraud attempt at a Bryn Mawr business.)

(Surveillance video captured the images of two “persons of interest” in an alleged fraud attempt at a Bryn Mawr business.)

ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) - Some businesses along Philadelphia’s Main Line are turning to social media sites to warn each other about how to protect themselves from potentially becoming a crime victim.

Kathy Bogosian, who heads the Bryn Mawr Business Association, says she thwarted a man who tried to pass bad American Express travelers’ checks in her Lancaster Avenue store last week.

But instead of just filing a police report, she turned to the Internet to let other businesses know about the scam.

One of those who got the e-mail alert was community activist Carla Zambelli, who immediately posted it on the website saveardmorecoalition.org, where she blogs.

“It’s just sort of a win-win situation,” says Zambelli.  “We want our small businesses to prosper, and when something bad like this happens to a small business that could be their whole day or couple of days.  We like our communities to remain safe.”

The surveillance cameras in Bogosian’s store snapped pictures of two men believed to be involved.  She sent those images to the other business owners and Haverford police, who are still investigating.

Police are hoping other store owners will be vigilant if these men try to strike again.

“We view social media as taking neighborhood watch into the 21st century — we notify each other in the event things are happening in our communities because it’s a very time-efficient way to get the word out there,” says Zambelli.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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