TOWSON, MD. (WJZ) — With more people buying and selling items on websites like craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, Baltimore County Police reminds everyone to be safe while exchanging these items.

When people buy something from someone else online, most of the time they don’t know that person or their intentions.

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That’s why the police department is now offering up their precincts as “safe exchange zones” to help keep you safe.

“Right now there are a lot of people online making a lot of purchases. Sometimes they meet people face to face to exchange goods and money for those purchases,” said Baltimore County Police Detective Robert Reason.

Detective Reason said the police department is looking to make these exchanges safer, by offering the public outdoor spaces around their precincts as safe exchange zones.

“It makes it a little more convenient, but it also makes it safer,” Detective Reason said.

If you can’t make it to a safe exchange zone, he said to avoid meeting at a house, or somewhere secluded.

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“So that if somethings happens, you obviously want somebody to be able to see you and help you or get you some help,” Detective Reason said.

He said it’s also a good idea to avoid bringing cash and to use a money order if possible and to let a friend, family member or even a neighbor know where you’re going.

“So someone is always aware of where you are, who you’re meeting and why you’re there,”

Last but not least, always trust your instincts.

“If you’re in communication with the person that your buying things from and you feel a little bit unsafe, or you feel something is not right, don’t go,” he said.

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Another danger we’re all facing is the coronavirus pandemic. Police say it is important to maintain social distance and wear a mask when exchanging goods.

Sean Streicher