Champaign Police Announce Safe Zone to Exchange Internet Purchases

Now open to the public, CPD encourages use of its Internet Purchase Exchange Location

The Champaign Police Department welcomes citizens to use their newly created “Internet Purchase Exchange Location” in support of a more safe and secure venue for residents to exchange goods sold through online sites, such as Craigslist. The designated zone includes two, well-lit parking spots, marked by signs, on the north end of the police station and will be under 24-hour video surveillance.

With the increased popularity of online shopping, more individuals are now meeting strangers in unfamiliar locations when it is time to physically exchange money or goods. The Champaign Police Department’s new Internet Purchase Exchange Location, as opposed to a stranger’s home or an unmonitored parking lot, provides a safer exchange area to reduce the risk of criminal activity.

“We’re pleased to open our parking lot to establish a more secure and easily accessible area under constant surveillance for residents to complete transactions,” said Deputy Chief Joseph Gallo. “A mutually-agreed upon location, such as the police department, is important to minimize the risk of unsafe exchanges. However, we always encourage residents to maintain their situational awareness when meeting strangers.”

Important safety tips for internet exchange transactions:

-Insist on meeting in a public area like the CPD Internet Purchase Exchange Location

-If someone is not willing to meet at the police department for the transaction, it is probably not legitimate

-Only engage in transactions with local buyer/sellers

-Inform a friend or family member of the transaction details and try not to go to an exchange alone

-Do not go into someone else’s house, nor allow them into yours

-Only use cash or money orders to complete transactions

-Trust your instincts. If it sounds like a scam, it probably is. If you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself


Please note: Champaign Police Department personnel will not participate in exchanges or business proceedings. Although the location is under 24/7 surveillance, the area is not staffed or actively monitored by officers. Police will reference the video should there be any reports of wrongdoing. The sale, possession or purchase of firearms will not be permitted at the exchange location. The Champaign Police Department will not assume liability regarding the quality or authenticity of items involved in any transaction on its premises.