It has become a casual experience — listing household items online to sites like Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook and dozens of other websites.
The opportunity for something to go wrong in a transaction is always a possibility, however, and news outlets are reporting more criminal activity with these transactions every day. Meeting some one to buy or sell items advertised online has proven to be sketchy. In some cases, people making these transactions fall victim to a crime.
The Williams Police Department has now found a solution to that by creating a “Meetup Spot” outside the police station. They hope people will use the location to conduct transactions where there is continuous surveillance 24 hours a day.
The front parking area of the building is well-lighted and no appointments are necessary. Officers do not get involved with any transactions, but simply provide a safe and neutral location to meet and conduct business.
“It’s designed to help with all the rip-offs on Craigslist,” says Williams Police Chief Herman Nixon. “This will be a safe spot they can come to and exchange money.”
Nixon said the MeetUp Spot is a nationally recognized organization that provides signage and support at no cost to the community.
“They contacted us and encouraged us to participate,” Nixon said. “They are all over the country.”
Nixon said there have been several reports of scams on Craigslist and Facebook that have been reported to the Williams police.
“So many people trade on the barter sites and Craigslist, so we said let’s have a safe spot where our community can go,” he said.
The Williams Police Department is located at 501 W Route 66 in Williams. Anyone who experiences issues with their item exchanges will have quick access to the police station’s lobby during business hours--8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
More information can be found by calling (928) 635-4461.