Police Departments Providing Safe Location For Online Sale Exchanges

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFSM) — Online buying and selling exchanges on sites like Craigslist and Facebook happen every day, but during the holidays theses sales and so does crime, according to police.

For people like Francisca Ramirez, outlets like these websites provide a convenient way to make some extra cash.

"I have easily made $3,000 just selling my little boy's clothes, shoes and toys on the marketplace," Ramirez said.

Ramirez said the interaction with strangers doesn't come without the possibility of danger.

"A lot of people will just be like 'give me your address and I'll come pick it up at your house', but I don't ever do that," Ramirez said. "I don't feel like that is safe."

Springdale Police Department public information officer Jeff Taylor said their department, like many other cities, offers a safe exchange location for online buyers and sellers to meet in person. The spot is well lit and has constant video surveillance.

Taylor said officials often see an increase in these transactions going wrong this time of year.

"This time of year there is more of an uptick," Taylor said. "We do see that people take advantage of it because others are always looking to stretch their dollar."

Ramirez said she likes to make trades at areas with lots of foot traffic like banks and grocery stores.

"If I can find somebody to come with me, I absolutely prefer somebody to be with me," Ramirez said.

Taylor said before meeting someone make sure the post you are interested in is legitimate.

"Make sure you are looking out for those too good to be true offers," Taylor said. "You know if it sounds like it is too good to be true it probably really is too good to be true."

Taylor said at the end of the day trust your gut because saving a few dollars on a new TV or Christmas gift is not worth putting yourself in danger.

"If you get there and there’s something that makes you think 'man this just isn’t right', and you’re still in your vehicle just drive off," Taylor said. "There is nothing you are going to buy that is worth costing your life for.”

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