‘Safe Exchange Zone’ for internet sales proposed in Niskayuna

Schenectady County

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Thinking about buying something online, but concerned about the safety of a face-to-face exchange with a stranger? Niskayuna Town Board Member Denise Murphy McGraw has proposed the establishment of an “internet purchase exchange location” for these kinds of situations.

The safe zone will consist of two parking spaces at Niskayuna Town Hall near the police station entrance. McGraw says the area is under 24-hour surveillance by a video camera that is constantly recording.

According to the website SafeExchangePoint.com, there is currently not a safe internet purchase exchange zone within 50 miles of Niskayuna.  

McGraw says Niskayuna is the latest in a growing list of communities that have established such zones for people who have arranged sales through Facebook, Craigslist and various mobile apps. As these types of sales become more popular, so too have reports of people being robbed and even killed during the transactions. In March 2018, a 20-year-old man was murdered in Trenton, New Jersey, when he went to buy a PlayStation from a seller on Facebook Marketplace. Two men were later charged with the killing.

“People who have agreed to a local sale online can meet to exchange the item being sold in a safe, well lit area under video surveillance,” McGraw said. “Other communities around the country have begun to establish these safe zones with great success and I thought it was time we had one in the Capital Region.”  

McGraw’s proposal will be considered Tuesday evening during the Niskayuna Town Board’s May meeting. Should it pass, the goal will be to have the signage installed by July 1.  

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