UIC offers Safe Exchange Zone for online shopping transactions

Dear students, faculty and staff,

At the beginning of the fall semester, UIC Police announced a yearlong safety campaign to raise awareness of personal safety issues. Members of UIC Police and the Student Safety Patrol will be handing out buttons throughout the year as a reminder to THINK! about your own safety and to reflect on monthly national and local awareness campaigns with important messages — from Crime Prevention Month and National Stress Awareness Month to Mental Health Awareness Month and more.  We are one community, caring for each other to keep each other safe.

As the holiday season approaches, the UIC Police Department offers tips for safe online shopping:  

  • Always place orders from a secure connection. 
  • Know the merchant and their reputation. 
  • Avoid offers that seem “too good to be true.” 
  • If you are buying a gift card, read the Terms and Conditions. 
  • Use a credit card, not a debit card, to avoid identity theft. 

When shopping online, bargains are everywhere, but there are also real dangers associated with meeting a complete stranger to complete a sale. We have all heard stories of crimes committed against individuals during an exchange of items purchased through marketplace-style websites. 

The UIC Police Department has a Safe Exchange Zone at 943 W. Maxwell St. to provide the campus community with an area where individuals can exchange their online transactions in a safe, neutral environment that is comfortable, well-lit and under 24/7 video surveillance. Designated parking spaces are located adjacent to the police station. Neither law enforcement nor university officials will be involved in any part of the transaction. The Safe Exchange Zone can also be used for child custody exchanges. 

UICPD does prohibit some transactions at the Safe Exchange Zone, including: 

  • Illegal transactions, including, but not limited to, contraband, narcotics, illegal substances, stolen property, or other illegal items and/or exchanges. 
  • Transactions involving firearms, firearms parts, ammunition or explosives. Possession of weapons on university property is prohibited.
  • Large, bulky items that would disrupt the operations of the police facility. 
  • The delivery of any packages or goods to these facilities on behalf of a purchaser. 

Visit the Safe Exchange Zone webpage for additional online shopping safety tips. Remember to THINK! before you make your next online purchase — and collect your UIC safety button from UIC Police and Safety Patrols on campus throughout the year. 


Kevin Booker
Chief, UIC Police

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