Need to meet up to buy or sell? Meet up at UHPD for your safety.
The University of Houston Police Department has a lobby that is publicly accessible 24 hours a day, with convenient parking and camera coverage. This makes it a perfect location for the UH community to conduct personal purchase transations that require a meet up, such as those initiated on online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and others. Just let the person you are dealing with know that you would like to meet at the UHPD station at 4051 Wheeler Avenue. If they won't meet you here, it is probably best to avoid dealing with that person; you likely just avoided a negative interaction.
Our officers will not get involved in the details of your transaction, but we are here to keep you safe while you conduct your business. If you feel unsafe during the transaction though, our dispatch center is just steps away. Pick up the lobby phone and ask for an officer.
If you are on campus and buying or selling an item that is too large to allow you to meet at the UHPD station, just call police dispatch at 713-743-3333 and ask for a police or security officer to stop by the transaction location. For instance, if you are at a residence hall and you are selling an item of furniture that is being picked up by someone you don't know, the on site security officer will be happy to wait with you while the transaction is conducted.
Even when meeting at UHPD, or at another local police station that offers this service, remember the following tips when buying or selling on online marketplaces:
- Ask for proof of the seller’s identity if the item is something that might could possibly have been stolen.
- If you’re carrying a large sum of cash, either before or after the transaction, don’t make it obvious, and be careful to ensure that you’re not followed after the transaction.
- Be aware of common scams, like checks for an amount higher than the amount of the deal, or “cashier’s checks” that are forged and presented when the bank is closed. Craigslist offers a valuable list of common scams on their website.
- If you are given a cashier’s check, money order or other equivalent, call the bank at the number listed online, not a number the buyer gives you, to verify the validity of the check.
These tips are not foolproof. Things can go wrong, but meeting at the UHPD station and taking the precautions above are great steps to help keep you safe.