Police say public parking lots are safe places for online buyers and sellers to exchange items. However, police are now making an even bigger effort to make sure you stay safe.
Facebook Marketplace may be a place to buy and sell items for cheap. But, when you have to exchange items.
"It’s super sketchy. You don’t know who you’re meeting if you’ve never met them before, and you also don’t know if they’re going to show up," Marketplace user Lacey Williams said.
Williams used to sell and buy items through Facebook at least once a month. When the exchange program became a safety risk, she stopped using it.
"I used to, but I don’t anymore because you simply don’t know who you’re meeting," Williams said.
Some cities, like Macomb, are making an effort to make people feel more safe. The city created a safe exchange point in the parking lot of the police department. There are two signs to make buyers and sellers aware that it’s a safe spot, monitored by surveillance cameras.
"You read in the news about people getting ripped off or robbed when they go to these, so we wanted to get ahead of the problem and create a safe place to do that here in the police department parking lot," Macomb Lt. Jeff Hamer said.
Wiliams agrees with Hamer and said the safe exchange point will allow more people to buy and sell through Facebook Marketplace.
"Besides the fact that people may not show up, I would feel more comfortable selling things to people online," Williams said.
Police say if you are unable to make it to the new exchange location, your safest option is going to a public place with lights, so you are visible at all times.