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.
The South Central Patrol Division, located at 1999 E. Camp Wisdom Road, has an exchange zone designed to create a space for buyers and sellers from online and mobile marketplaces to complete their transactions in a surveilled, well-lit, and monitored environment.
- 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.