“If you’re going to meeting someone you don’t know, do it in a public place,” Grant says. She adds it’s a good idea to have someone else with you as well. Experts also recommend meeting in a well-lighted area that has active security cameras, like a parking lot.
Many local police departments are setting up safe exchange zones where buyers and sellers can meet each other to carry out their transactions, according to Rebecca Bowman, with the Howard County, Maryland Office of Consumer Protection.
Sometimes these are located in the police station, but other communities simply set up a meeting point that is someplace where the interaction is filmed and monitored. You can also search for a safe meeting point via the Safe Deal Finder, which is updated daily.