COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- 'Tis the season for shopping and selling online. But meeting a stranger at your home can open you up to crooks. Law enforcement officers say there's an easier way.
"You can go to any police station in the city and just use their lobby," said Officer Scott Mathis.
Mathis is with the Crime Prevention Unit for the Colorado Springs Police Department. He says as online activity grew, they responded by building a space for online exchanges.
"That's why this area was specifically built at the Sand Creek Substation," he said.
Online shopping is on the rise. Thanksgiving sales hit $4.2 billion. Many of those sales are private, orchestrated on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist - where strangers can hide behind a screen name. Suggesting they meet you at a police station is a good way to weed out the holiday grinches.
Not all outdoor parking lots or malls have cameras outside, but police stations are always on the lookout.
"We've got cameras all over," said Mathis, "We have cameras in the outside we've got it all in the inside of the building."
Mathis says he's personally bought and sold online and this is a safe space.