A Safe Place to Complete A Sale
Ankeny residents and business owners who buy and sell on swap or exchange sites may conduct their cash transactions in the parking lot of the Ankeny Police Department, located at 411 SW Ordnance Road. There are several parking spaces designated with Transaction Safe Place signs, the parking lot is active throughout the day, monitored by security cameras 24 hours a day and well-lit in the evening.
With scams related to buying and selling over the Internet, a recommended safeguard is to conduct the transaction in a safe location. Inviting unknown persons into your home or potentially dealing with a group of people while acting alone could result in unintended or harmful consequences for the seller.
Selling smaller items, such as jewelry, computers, cameras, coin collections or artifacts, often requires the seller to invite the purchaser to his/her home to pick up the sold item(s). Driving those items to the police department parking lot decreases chances of any potential danger to the seller or the seller’s family and property and the possibility of an exchange of counterfeit money.
While items cannot be stored at the police department or in the parking lot, if the item can be safely transported, such as a vehicle or lawn mower, the seller should consider conducting the transaction at the Ankeny Police Dept.’s parking lot.
Additionally, the area can be used as a safe and neutral site for parents to meet for child custody exchanges.
Safety tips for conducting a transaction with an unknown buyer
- Do not invite strangers into your home and do not go to a stranger's home, meet in a safe, public place.
- Tell a friend or family member about your plans and when, where and who you are meeting.
- Use a phone or camera to capture a photograph of the vehicle and license plate.
- Only accept cash or a cashier’s check for sale. Personal checks have some risk; however, the buyer can contact the listed bank to verify that the buyer has an active account before closing the transaction.
- Conduct sales during weekdays so banking or financial institutions can be contacted if there is a problem.
- Trust your instincts, be cautious of scams and report any suspicious activity to police.