Finding a safe space to seal the deal

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Who doesn't like getting a good deal?

Online commerce sites like Craigslist and Facebook's marketplace have brought the classified ad into the 21st century.


"We have all heard the scary stories of things that have happened when these exchanges have gone wrong," said Heidi Davidson, Grand Junction Police Department.

That's why The Grand Junction Police Department set up parking spots labeled 'Safe 2 Trade' spots a couple of years ago. A 24-hour location for buyer and seller to meet in a safe place for online trading.

"We think it's a valuable service to provide to the community to have this extra layer of security," Davidson said.

In these spots, or in the lobby during business hours traders can meet under the watchful eyes of surveillance cameras. While officers don't oversea the transaction, they are nearby should any funny business happen.

"It's nice to know you have that extra layer of security that law enforcement is just a few steps away should something go awry during the exchange," Davidson said.

"I just don't want anyone to come to my house and I don't want to go to someone else's house," said Christy Anderson, who buys and sells items online. "The number one thing for me is always a public place where I usually try to have someone with me also, even if its just one of my kids."

Regardless of where you make an exchange, it's always best to do it where someone can keep a watchful eye.

"When they've gone to make the suggestion that the trade happen at the police department, they've declined." Davidson recalled. "What a red flag!"

Some other tips before you buy or sell online...
-Avoid giving out any financial information when you're making the deal.
-Avoid using money wiring services for these kinds of transactions. It's often an indication of a scam.
-Take your cell phone along with you, and make sure to tell a friend or family member where you are going before meeting a buyer or seller.

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