Don't get ripped off and don't put yourself in danger just trying to make a few bucks. When you're going to make a deal with someone, either as the buyer or the seller, you really need to be cautious because how do you know who you're really dealing with?

I don't know about you, but I often want to see things on Facebook Market Place. The problem? How do you know who you're going to meet? Is someone going to try to rob me? I question whether or not I will feel safe.

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office has announced they have now designated space for a Safe Exchange Zone, and it's located right next to the Sheriff's Office.

Photo courtesy of Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office

There are two parking spaces at 316 West Main Street. This area is under 24-hour video surveillance to help add another level of security, but as Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Valerie Ponseti points out, you should never let your guard down. It is not like there is an officer at this site, but it's definitely safer than meeting someone you don't know at your house.

Ponesti says there are several things you should always keep in mind when you are selling or buying something from someone you don't know:

  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right then don't do it.
  • If the deal this person wants to make with you sounds too good to be true then it probably is; just don't do it.
  • You should always tell someone that you are going to buy or sell something. Better yet, get someone to go with you.
  • If you are going to buy or sell something that has extreme value then you should use extreme caution when making the transaction.
  • If someone wants your financial or personal information, tell them no and stop communicating with them.
  • If the person you are planning to do the transaction with is not willing to go to the Safe Exchange Zone right next to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office then it's probably not legitimate.

Ponseti adds that people should not confuse these two parking spaces with an area where you and your spouse can make custody exchanges for your children; that's not the purpose.

If you are still unclear about how the spaces are to be used, you can direct your questions to the Sheriff's office at 337-232-9211.

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