Law enforcement offer safe exchange zones for online purchases

Safety When Selling Items Online

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - From Facebook marketplace to Craigslist, selling your unwanted items online to make a buck is easier than ever, but it’s important to remember a couple of things when you’re meeting up with someone you don’t know.

Always meet up in public. In a well-lighted area. And if you can, in a safe exchange zone at your local police department.

The Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office dedicated three parking spaces at the main courthouse for safe exchanges.

The Petersburg Sheriff’s Office also has one. VCU Police offers up the lobby of headquarters at 224 East Broad Street. These agencies say if someone won’t meet you at police headquarters to buy an item, you probably shouldn’t be meeting them.

These sites are not only for face-to-face online sales, but also can be used for child custody exchanges or meetings where one feels the need for recorded video surveillance.

If you don’t have one of these safe spots, pick a public location during the day that also has video surveillance like a Walmart or target parking lot.

Only accept cash - no Paypal, no checks. And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some users say they take extra steps to hide their personal info.

The main message: do your due diligence. Check out their profile on Facebook, if you are dealing with marketplace. Make sure they’re legit.

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