SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police are encouraging residents to make internet exchanges at police headquarters.

If you’re buying or selling items online via sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace knowing how to protect yourself from theft is vital. The Springfield Police Department is reminding and encouraging our residents who engage in internet purchase exchanges to do so at or outside Springfield Police Headquarters located at 130 Pearl Street.

“We don’t want people who don’t know each other, strangers striking some sort of deal or whatever it may be on the internet and then meeting on some corner and potentially getting robbed. We see approximately a dozen or so of those crimes each year in the city.” Ryan Walsh SPD Public Information Officer

Some tips from the Springfield Police Department:

  • Meet at a public place such as the Springfield Police Department.
  • Don’t go alone.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Do not meet in a secluded area.
  • Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go to theirs.
  • Be cautious when buying/selling high value items.
  • Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.
  • Tell a friend or family member about your intentions.
  • Take your cell phone with you.

Even though the police are not guaranteeing safety, making the exchange in front of the police station where the department’s facility is under video surveillance and open to the public 24 hours a day for meet-ups is the most secure location.

Now of course most people know not to meet a stranger in a dark alley, but the police are making this reminder to people that you might as well do your exchange where you feel most safe.