Use an online site or phone app to buy and sell things between private parties? You could run the risk of encountering scams or robberies when you meet the buyer or seller at any agreed upon location.
The City of Paramount and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are offering a safe place for these transactions at the Paramount Sheriff's Station public parking lot. Most who utilize these sales venues are good, honest people. But meeting a complete stranger and exchanging money for items could pose inherent risks.
The Paramount Station is located at 15001 Paramount Blvd. Hours are Mon.-Sun., 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., holidays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call (562) 220-2002 for questions. Eventually there will be two parking spaces reserved for the Safe Place to Meet. Until then, feel free to use anywhere in the parking lot.
If you are meeting people to buy or sell items elsewhere, consider some of the suggestions below.
* Meet at a reasonable time of day, preferably during daylight.
* Do not meet alone or with children present. Have someone accompany you.
* Avoid meeting at your home. If you must, due to the size of an item, consider placing the item in the garage or on the porch/entry way.
* If you agree to meet at a neutral location consider a well-lit area with people around and possibly video surveillance cameras. A grocery store, for instance. Do not meet in an area that is unfamiliar or uncomfortable to you. If the other party is not willing to meet you in a place you feel safe, do not meet.
* When purchasing items, inspect them for accuracy and be sure you are getting what you want. It is okay to change your mind and not purchase the item. If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. There are a lot of stolen items sold online. Drug users oftentimes sell things at extremely discounted prices just so they can get money for a fast high. Contact your local law enforcement if you think something is stolen.
* Be careful with your money. Do not open your wallet and pull money out in front of the seller. Consider having the exact amount agreed upon in a specific pocket.
* When purchasing online use credit cards or secure payment services instead of debit cards.
* When making online purchases in public, use your mobile phone network instead of WiFi.