As online buying and selling becomes more popular, we want to remind you to always make safety a priority. Unfortunately, criminals have also taken this as another opportunity to victimize others. Always remember, you are meeting a stranger and an online profile can be deceptive. Don’t let your guard down just because you’ve exchanged a few messages. There have been victims of scams, robbery and even murder during these transactions. Be proactive, plan for a safer exchange.
The Dallas Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies from surrounding cities, wants to remind citizens of safer ways to meet when buying and selling online.
- When meeting in surrounding cities that may be unfamiliar to you, always research a safe meeting location and familiarize yourself with the area
- Always meet in a well-lit, public place; preferably a safe zone
- Never go alone
- Always meet during the day
- If it’s a high-priced item, meet in the lobby of a police station
- Keep your cell phone close and be ready to call 911 at the first sign of trouble
- Never give out personal or financial information
- Avoid using money wiring services for these transactions, it is the method of choice for scammers
- Never buy something without seeing it first
- Let someone know where you’ll be and who you are meeting
- Leave if you feel uncomfortable
- If you are selling a large item that is not easily transportable, move the item into the garage or entryway, if possible. That way buyers don’t have to come all the way into your home
- Some police departments and retail locations now offer “Safe Meeting Places”, “Safe Trade Stations” or “Safe Zones”. You can look these up online.